One of New York’s Coolest Labels Just Showed at a Local Dry Cleaners
Raul Solis, the designer behind the buzzy label LRS, held his fifth show on 24th Street and 2nd Avenue in New York City, at Next Cleaners, a dry cleaning chain. After waiting in the aftermath of a rainstorm among a hoard of kicky pant-wearing downtown kids, everyone shuffled inside, and the space turned into a kind of hipster sauna.
Despite the heat, the moisture, and the so-close-you-can-smell-the-nicotine-on-your-neighbor’s-hands tight space, Solis’s vision was excitingly refreshing. There were no models: Dry cleaner attendants (in LRS-branded aprons) carried plastic-wrapped pieces and hung them on a conveyor. The clothes were great, including an oversize biker jacket with a large circle scooped out from the stomach, a pair of jeans made of LRS patches, and a tight T-shirt with a rooster’s head.
Solis also collaborated with photographer Ryker Allen to shoot and print banal objects. “We shot mundane images like tomatoes and mushrooms and portraits,” said Solis. “We wanted it to feel mundane but elevating the mundane.” The concept worked. Never has a tomato looked so good, plastered on the upper back of a trench coat turned cape with versatile vent, dotted with wriggling bolete mushrooms. (A fellow showgoer noted, “It’s like some of that Chef’s Table show shit. It makes me want to cook. The ingredients look beautiful.” True.) Also, a familiar insider face made a cameo on one of the tunics: the enlarged visage of a handsome Johnny Petrozzino, a sometimes-model who also starred in the Helmut Lang Exactitudes campaign.
Sure, Solis’s Laundromat idea could come off of as gimmicky. During Fashion Week, many young designers are vying to be so out-of-the-box that their attempts fall short and become try-hard. But Solis’s focus on making the yawn-worthy great is what made his collection compelling. And fun. Let’s handle LRS with care.