Now this is the story all about how
A girl's life got flipped, turned upside down
And so Kim Trager and Lowell Delaney just sat right there
To tell me how this girl became rebel deadbeat of a ski-lair
A super posh house in Aspen is our tale's base
Where a tearaway girl whiled away her days in a daze
Bored and frustrated with her loopy rich relations
Nothing to do but don her grandma's wardrobe revelations
When a couple of guys, they were up to no good
Started making trouble in her neighbourhood
Bill Cosby's drug dealer happened to be one of this gang
Our Aspen Princess ran with them, getting high and not giving a damn
She liked their fresh hip hop style and their old school Biggie beats
And so she plotted to run away from her family of creeps
One day she whistled for their Volvo and when it came near,
She said "So long rich suckers, I'm long gone out of here."
Apologies if the rhymes and flow are a little off. Novelty rap isn't my forte. But it helps to have a patter when getting London-based designer duo Kim Trager and Lowell Delaney's inspiration tale for their A/W 13-4 100% down. I happed upon their brilliant collection at the London Fashion Week exhibition (I trialled some of their pieces for The Daily) where Kim and Lowell began to tell me about their crazed Aspen rebel, but I had to rush off. Then at a Matches cocktail celebrating Trager Delaney's exclusivity at the store, they tried to tell me again but champers and V.I.P. fash ppl got in the way. So finally, I had to go over to Kim and Lowell's studio in Soho so that I could get the story spic and span in my head.
Fear not. I haven't allowed the tale to overtake the real matter at hand which is a truly confident collection, that just happens to have a refreshing angle behind it. It just goes some way to illustrating how random (meant in the best way possible) and awesome the duo are in their carefree spirited ways. You could start the convo with them talking business strategies and design background and wind up very quickly on a tangent talking about the merits of Honest Burgers and how girls running around in cornfields in fashion films suck. The sarcastic banter and quick quips between are evidence of their solid friendship. Kim, from Denmark and Lowell, a Londoner, became fast friends on the BA knitwear course at Central Saint Martins (something they weren't sure why they ended up doing) and after a few internship stints at Haider Ackermann and Celine, and deciding that doing the MA was an expensive stretch too far, they literally just said "Fuck it!" and started their own thing. It's not exactly a tried and tested path nor is it necessarily sound as a business idea but Kim and Lowell were guided by intuition and a sense of winging it, which has proven to work for them.
Along the way they'll admit that a a heavy dose luck and meeting the right people has helped. Instances such as Vogue editor-at-large Fiona Golfar placing a huge personal order with their debut S/S 13 luxurious take on skate collection, in-stores now. Or how they met Arizona Muse randomly at a Queen's Jubilee party and bonded over shared sarkiness and so Muse offered to model their collection for them and has now appeared in both of their lookbooks. Somehow, Trager Delaney quickly became a name to whisper around buyer's circles at the shows back in March and so now they've gone up the rungs rapidly, having only just done two seasons, and they've even had to say no to department stores just to keep a lid on the pace of things. Their A/W 13-4 collection will be going into Matches and Joseph and there's much buzz about they're going to be doing at LFW in September, and they'll be the first ones to say, they have no fucking clue how it all happened.
Their "This is where it's at" A/W 13-4 collection is a mash-up of the highest and most luxurious order. Rich wool coats with face-shielding collars to pull up to reveal a surprising flash of rainbow furriness. Protective fleece jackets and further reinforcement from flame-proof, winter-ready textiles such as Schoeller and Kevlar form the fabric backdrop to our tale in Aspen. When our girl starts hanging out with Bill Cosby's drug dealer, she takes on his crazed sweaters as well, only here, they are patchworked waves of shaved mink (Saga-sourced) and nappa leather. The unexpected colours are also fitting to this loopy backstory – bright red, petrol blue, mint green and deep burgandy are unexpected in their combos, especially when a marble print is also thrown into the mix.
But despite the technical references and vintage-feel color palette‚Äîfresh mint, deep burgundy, vermilion, and navy‚Äîthe clothing itself is uncomplicated, beautiful, and strikingly modern; but not without its playful twists. Pop the collars on an Austrian wool double-breasted coat, and a nappa-and-mink rainbow lining is revealed, ‚Äúfor when you spot a blogger ahead!‚Äù jokes Trager. A funnel-neck microfiber fleece, meanwhile, can be reversed and worn silk-crepe marble-print side out. The ubiquitous words "ease", "relaxed" and "modern" crop up when describing Trager Delaney's aesthetic, which should make me wary but thankfully, one look at their lookbook and also at their moodboards and you can see that their particular route to easy/luxurious/relaxed/spare/contemporary/delete as appropriate type of chic, is anything but banal.