Vaquera: Ready-To-Wear SS23

Five years ago, the quartet behind Vaquera sent a vivid American flag dress with a mile-long train across a New York runway, demanding the attention of the fashion pack and its fanatic fans alike. But a lot has happened since then – the pandemic for one thing, a new president now in office – and the foursome reduced down just two. The remaining design duo, Patric DiCaprio and Bryn Taubensee, have since metamorphosed the brand into an inherently anti-establishment fashion force, stocked at all the right retailers and always conveying unconventionality. Backed by Dover Street Market this season, the pair are pushing into the commercial sphere, ambitiously bidding for their eccentric creations to break into the new consumer category. 

Proposing wearable irreverence, lustrous chrome and liquid-gold second-skin tops, corsets and polos came coupled with sailor hats, twisted-nipple tops, key-clipped short shorts and excessively fringed leather goodies. Elsewhere, a distressed, leg-of-mutton sleeve wedding gown, eclectically crafted and chaotically deconstructed, safety-pinned at the bodice and spliced down the middle was worn over a peachy stretch-satin catsuit that once belonged to DiCaprio’s mom – if you can even believe it. 

A paper maché bikini look that left little to the imagination and resembled origami stars on a string was also a front runner, while nylon khaki super-cropped coats with matching shearling skirts brought a utilitarian feel into the mix. There was another asymmetric star-spangled gown too – causing the whole affair to feel like a full circle moment – but this one wasn’t fresh, it was upcycled from faded flags that DiCaprio’s friends nicked from Fire Island homes.

Clearly DiCaprio and Taubensee are not normal, but frankly, that’s the best thing about them. While their latest aim may be to fit into the commercial fold, Vaquera remains incessantly unconventional. 

Photography courtesy of Vaquera.

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