Duckie Brown Spring Menswear Collection 2021

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Steven Cox and Daniel Silver spent their lockdown making “how to wear it” videos for their Instagram account. Cox modeled and Silver manned the camera, both of them did the pitching, and they report that business went very well.

If the pandemic made producing their new collection more difficult than it otherwise would’ve been, it did bring about a new way of engaging with customers. One of the lessons of 2020 is the necessity of the feedback loop.

Designers that make fashion for fashion’s sake and not for living-and-breathing clients aren’t likely to make it out of the COVID recession.

That’s not to say that what Cox and Silver do isn’t fashion. Quite the contrary; conservative dressers aren’t likely to stumble across @officialduckiebrown, and the quarantine didn’t do anything to tamp down the designers’ idiosyncratic instincts.

Consider the ruffled collar of Look Four, which is almost Elizabethan in its proportions. It can also be worn untied and askew for a more “Donna Karan cold shoulder” vibe, à la Look Three.

A lot of pushing against the masculine/feminine boundary was happening here: with the rounded, rather than straight-line patterns, with the preponderance of washed silk. In the heat of summer, that delicate material puts women at a distinct advantage over men who are stuck in heavier suiting fabrics.

The soft, almost voluptuous silhouettes of Duckie’s oversized shirts and pants are bigger sartorial risks, but with matching pay-offs. Cox models again here with dapper eccentricity.

Cox and Silver pulled some old tailoring out of their storage facility and will sell it alongside their new designs. Dries Van Noten is doing something similar with archive items in his new Los Angeles store. That’s another pandemic-time innovation that should stick around permanently.

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