In the years since Eckhaus Latta has emerged as one of both art and fashion's most beloved young labels, its previous campaigns, which have included titillating images like men covering up their nether regions in smoked salmon, have so successfully melded the two fields, they've even ended up in the Hammer Museum's "Made in L.A." biennial. Their latest, though, likely won't land itself in such a public setting. It was unveiled on Monday night behind an online barrier where visitors must agree that they're 18 or older to continue—a necessary precaution, given that the images portray not just Eckhaus Latta's spring 2017 collection, but also a diverse group of real-life couples having real-life sex.
Not that that stopped Eckhaus Latta's longtime stylist Avena Gallagher from doing her usual magic, putting the brand's typically unexpectedly cast models—unsigned names hardly hiding prominent tattoos like the word "misanthropy,"—in items like flimsy knit tank tops and corduroy pants in a printed emerald. Thanks to the Seoul-born, New York-based photographer Heji Shin, who's been known to shoot Eckhaus Latta alums like Juliana Huxtable, not to mention a "German sex education book for teenagers," the clothes somehow ended up even freer and steamier than when they were first showcased on a hot summer day in the park.
There is, of course, some pixelation; after all, the brand has started to increasingly dip its toes into the mainstream lately, from an appearance on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in 2016 to their new expansion into pre-fall to a brick-and-mortar store in Los Angeles, albeit one based in a medical cannabis dispensary. At the same time, though, designers Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta have also kept up doing things decidedly their own way. They studied sculpture and textiles at art school instead of fashion design in the first place, and they've held their runway shows in unexpected settings like during the middle of a snowstorm under a massive dome in Queens.
Still, their success, along with a healthy dose of post-election anxiety, has lately led to a few existential questions, one of which Eckhaus brazenly brought up after showing their fall 2017 collection at New York Fashion Week: "Why do we make clothes?" the designer asked earnestly.
Months later, the pair seems to have finally figure that one out: to take them off, of course.
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