by Joshua Langston

PEOPLE: Models & Bongs

PLACES: Highline Loft, Chelsea, New York

THINGS: HIGHLAND FW13 Presentation

The first presentation I went to for this NYFW season was HIGHLAND at the Highline loft in Chelsea. From the outside the building didn’t look like much and to be honest I wasn’t exactly sure what I had gotten myself into. I packed my way into the rickety elevator (ps- me and small places do not get along) and when I entered the presentation space, all my fears were put aside.

I had arrived on the earlier side (imagine me showing up early for a fashion show during NYFW, miracles do happen).  In the entrance they were shooting some of the models against the backdrop of a house and the backdrop was a fucking mess (I mean that in the absolute best way possible). It looked kind of like a frat house from the outside, which was foreshadowing to what was to come inside. There was a bar stocked with cases and cases of Pabst Blue Ribbon. I cracked a cold one and they passed me a foam beer sleeve branded with the HIGHLAND logo, admittedly a very nice touch. Smart PR. Very Smart PR.

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I had stepped into a college frat house of sorts, with walls lined with lava lamps, school trophies and chip bags scattered all over the DJ booth and across the floor.  A big old beat up couch was set up and looked like something your mom would’ve given you when you move out for the first time.  Pillows were everywhere and knotted patchwork blankets were flung across the back & arm rests and the most amazing floral print chair was sitting in middle of the room.  The smell of stale cigarettes and pot lingered in the air and chips crunched under my feet.  I was in a scene from a typical American frat house.

With such an elaborate scene set the room filled up quick and there were rows upon rows of people behind me in this tight presentation space.  The first model entered the space and took a seat against the wall, his eyes were somewhat glassy and he started head bobbing to the DJ. One after one they began to invade the space, from diving onto couches to nestling into the sleeping bags on the floor. The interaction between the models was a pleasure to watch, and the only thing missing was a bowl of popcorn.

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The collection a lot like the atmosphere, very laid back and chill. Ikat prints were used in several applications, from t-shirts, to bandanas and even pants. I loved the Sherpa zip front vest; it added interesting texture to the collection. The Fair Isle Marino sweater was also a great layering piece that could be worn in several ways.  The logo T’s were well executed.  Instead of looking like a walking billboard (which I LOATHE), they had been treated and carefully branded with a cool finish. I was surprised how HIGHLAND was able to bring relevance and ease to cargo pants, something that is extremely difficult to pull off.

A couple at a time they started letting us photographers to step into the scene to snap our shots and details.  The models did not break character; they simply just didn’t give a fuck.  That spirit was what elevated the whole experience of this collection. While this may not have been my personal college experience, it was one I will never forget…unless you pass me that bong.  xx –Joshua

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