Jonathan Simkhai’s spring collection was designed at about the same time the pandemic hit, and he was inspired by reports of nature’s healing—dolphins swimming again in Venice, and the like—to think about the outdoors. What Simkhai had in mind was not a get-your-hands-dirty kind of open air experience, but something safer, and dressier; gatherings like beach weddings and backyard barbecues. The result was cheerful pieces made of crisp white cotton poplin, a grass-grazing shirting dress, another with a tightly pleated skirt, and boho numbers with floral cut-outs that were dreamed up in Laurel Canyon and continued, in a cleaned-up way, the arty vibe the area has long been known for.
Taking the collection beyond festival and wedding dressing were more tailored pieces, like double waisted pants, a plaid jacket, and what looked like a shipshape navy corset top and pants, which was really a jumpsuit. Novel trenches have become a Simkhai signature; they were updated for spring with vertical strips of white lace. Deep green seaweed-colored vegan leather added weight and depth of color to a collection that was light with floaty touches (see the transparent sea foam green look).
The collection was anchored conceptually by Simkhai’s love of pottery (throwing pots is one of his studio’s preferred team-building exercises), which led him to the abstract/figural sculptures by Hans Arp, the curves of which flowed into some of the silhouettes. In this context, the designer’s signature cut-outs could be read as carvings, with skin standing in for positive space in a way that was quite fitting for an upbeat collection.