Designer Spotlight: Monse

The design house with the dreamiest deconstructed pieces
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The design house with the dreamiest deconstructed pieces
Monse Founders Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia (Source: Elle)

Monse Founders Laura Kim and Fernando Garcias (source: Elle)

The next installment of our Designer Spotlight series is here! Today, we're going to explore design house Monse. Haven't heard of them? That's OK - if you're a fashion girl, you'll want to keep reading.

Fashion week for me means scrolling through the Vogue Runway app, looking through the day’s collections, and pinning my favorite looks. 

While doing my rounds for the Spring 2016 Ready-to-Wear collections, I came across the Monse show. Not a name I recognized. So I clicked over.

The pieces were, to say the least, amazing. New York Times and Vogue writers were sitting front row. Designers and celebrity stylists abounded. Why did I never hear about them before?

Because…

It was Monse’s debut show.

Base Layers

The American design house was founded by Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia. Monse, which is named after Garcia’s mother, aims to dress that girl who always looks effortless, “like it took her five minutes to get ready”. Their vibe is easy, simple, and never fussy, but the wearer looks cool, elegant and absolutely awe-inducing.

From the minute Monse showed its collection, it seemed to take off immediately-in a Vetements-like fashion. But what seemed like an overnight rise to the top actually had a steady foundation laid under it – designers Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia are Oscar de la Renta alums, with 19 years of work experience between them! The knowledge they’ve gained and the industry connections they made from working in one of fashion’s most reputable houses set them on the road to instant success.

Deconstructed Classics

Let’s talk about the white button-down shirt. A runway staple, it’s a versatile classic. Kim and Garcia, however, took this basic and turned it on its head - or collar, rather. The results were stunning - new silhouettes were born, whole dresses created from a few twists of a sleeve (see below). The process was repeated, creating more shirts and dresses in different shapes and colors.

Monse S/S 2016 (Source: Monse)

Monse S/S 2016 RTW (Source: Monse)

Kim and Garcia believe in "relaxed glamour", and their personalities combine to create the brand's aesthetic. "I'm definitely more on the feminine side, and funnily enough [Kim] likes things more on the masculine side," says Garcia. "And it's a very good marriage, I think, because instead of tipping on one end rather than the other, it's a blend."

Reception

Monse has already dressed some pretty impressive people - Amal Clooney, SJP, and Selena Gomez are among them. This is due not only to their connections with stylists they’ve made throughout the years but also because of how covetable their pieces are. 

After Monse's first runway show, both Net-a-Porter and Bergdorf Goodman became buyers. After their Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear show, Monse was nominated for the CFDA Swarovski Award for Womenswear. While they didn’t win (the award went to designer Brandon Maxwell) the nomination is indicative of the design duo’s talent and the brand’s staying power.

Your Thoughts?

How do you feel about Monse? Did you find it as appealing as I did? Would you wear a Monse piece? Are there any designers you would like to see featured in this series?