Monse looks to vintage board games for resort collection

NEW YORK — With the sun shining bright after days of dreary rain, Monse co-founders Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia seated some of their guests on soft cubes designed as dice as they showed a vintage board game-infused resort collection Friday on an open, lower Manhattan plaza.

Sticking closely to their “Monseisms,” as Garcia put it in an interview, the duo also at the creative helm of Oscar de la Renta leaned on breezy prints adorned with little game toy soldiers, numbers and hearts, mixed with monochromatic looks of mustard yellow, fiery orange and cherry red.

Their love of deconstructing menswear for women was present and accounted for in asymmetrical sleeve and jacket designs. So was long fringe swinging under blue skies amid abstract sculpture, on a red striped one-shoulder caftan and black striped chiffon culotte, among other outfits.

The mission remains as is: To work staples into something new.

“We have a love and affinity for stripes and deconstructing anything that is in your existing wardrobe,” Garcia told The Associated Press.

It was a superior at de la Renta that got them going on antique board games. He showed them a book of Victoria-era games, “and it was really beautiful,” Kim said.

They carried the theme into other elements, including little dice on necklaces. Some shoulders and necks were adorned and affixed with colorful cupped-hand clasps.

Monse doesn’t just make menswear fresh and sexy for women. They do the same for the men. One male model walked in strappy sandals in a patchwork blazer with inside-out lining stripes, one lapel striped and the other white.

A huge part of the Monse vibe, among the isms, is comfort and wearability. There was a pair of wool pants in cherry with a forgiving foldover waist, along with a black striped chiffon scarf shirt amid the inside-outedness and unconventional tailoring.

Of their desire to deconstruct, Kim offered: “We both like very basic clothes. We love basic T-shirts, but we’re looking at it in a way of, how do we make this look new?”

Garcia said their “Monseisms” are about “creating things that nobody else has in their closet.”

But fancier. Not just for going to work.

“Even though we kind of try to make Monse casual, it is kind of dressy clothes, so we actually see a lot of them at events. I didn’t imagine it that way, like going to special luncheons and evening events,” Kim said.

The thrill, after the brand’s founding in 2016, hasn’t worn off, Garcia added.

“My biggest crowning achievement moment was when I saw a complete stranger wearing our second collection in a restaurant right next to us,” he said.

Did he reveal himself?

“We just let her enjoy her night and saw that she was having fun,” Garcia said, “and it was great.”

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