Yadda yadda yadda fashion, yadda yadda yadda looks, yadda yadda yadda what have you been wearing? Plenty of us have yakked on the phone about clothes with our besties. But when good friends Michelle Duncan (founder of Duncan) and Chris Peters (one half of Creatures of the Wind, and the guy behind CDLM) get together on their cells, they talk about designing them.
It’s at this point that Duncan’s fall 2022 collection comes into view. Her label has long been a labor of love while she held down a busy day job as a senior beauty executive. But with work ramping up recently, she asked Peters to co-create this collection with her. Let’s say both (quite rightly) feel the conversations have been fruitful. “It has been, for me, a beautiful marriage of design and creativity together,” Duncan said. “Chris brings a really good sensibility about women and silhouettes and construction that was not necessarily the way I was thinking about the brand.”
Duncan has been quietly making a name for itself (including with such blue chip retailers as Ikram and MatchesFashion.com) as a label which offers a clear-minded vision of seductive glam. It has drawn on the heyday of Hollywood, cut with a little bit of burlesque and NYC nightclubbing, and with plenty of plaid thrown in for good measure. (Duncan has Scottish ancestry.) Basically, it’s Dita Von Teese doing the Highland Fling at The Nines. The discreet charm of her hourglass silhouette, all covered up but with a PALPABLE frisson at the constraining fabric, is still at the fore. It’s there in the black coat with spangled lapels, say, or a red dress which cleaves to the body, the billowing sleeves adding soft respite to the strictness of fit.
Where Peters’s hand comes in is with his subversively romantic twists. (The harnesses and lingerie, all from Fleur du Mal, are, however, pure Duncan.) It might be with a terrific ivory dress, with buttons running down the back of the sleeves, a quirkily unexpected touch. Or with all of the caping that’s going on: the LBD with an oversized bow falling over its shoulder, throwing the expected elegance off kilter, or as a flowing panel over a black jersey gown, darkly witchy, but in a good way.