It would not be farfetched to assume that this lookbook was created with the assistance of AI. An island barely larger than a yoga mat with a single palm in the middle of a crystal blue sea couldn’t possibly exist in real life. And it doesn’t. But instead of giving a bunch of prompts to DALL-E, the Elder Statesman team had this scene entirely custom built and staged in the water off the Florida Keys, not far from where creative director, Bailey Hunter, grew up.
The effort is in sync with TES’s raison d’être and how it succeeds in offering superlative knits: develop everything from scratch. From the L.A. brand’s temporary showroom in the Marais, founder Greg Chait walked through all that was new and/or noteworthy in his yarn universe. There were sumptuous originals (namely, plush cardigans in 100 percent silk); surprising innovations (a casually creased cotton containing 8 percent metal was used for garments with a tad more structure); and everyday blends (one of them, in 95 percent cotton, was at once cozy and breathable). A slubby fabric gave off a lived-in ease while a full-length sweater coat in a basketweave texture would make a strong impression from afar.
Meanwhile, on a follow-up call, Hunter picked up where Chait left off by explaining the collection’s tropical theme. From a giant sail fish intarsia to postcard designs airbrushed individually by a local artist who adapted his technique to knitwear, these designs introduced a timely, escapist mood to an already upbeat and color-happy brand.
Yet a comparatively nondescript piece is poised to attract TES devotees and newcomers alike. “Sometimes, we create things from need,” said Chait who was already wearing what he called “the perfect vintage sweatshirt.” Beyond the classic fit was the cashmere—just enough to make it instantly covetable but not too much to make it obscenely expensive (and impractical to wash).