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In New York City, one is never really alone. There’s always the white noise of traffic, the subway clattering, and the random passerby at all hours — even during a pandemic.

On Friday afternoon, bicoastal design duo Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta offered a digital window into that feeling with a lovely celebration of comfort and craft livestreamed from the walking path along the East River near the Manhattan Bridge.

“We wanted a casual pedestrian quality…not a spectacle but something that felt more human,” said Eckhaus, explaining the designers’ plan for an audience-less show that still managed to capture a sense of connection, complete with strollers walking and rolling by.

Eckhaus Latta RTW Spring 2021

23 Photos 

“It was about conveying a together-alone vibe. Whether it’s because of required social distance, or having to wear masks, or having to watch it from across the country like me…everyone was engaged in a different way,” said Latta, who worked on the collection and show remotely from Santa Cruz, Calif.

The collection had a similar intimacy to the presentation, with plenty of the tactile pleasures for which the designers are known, and a soothing earthy palette of ochre, orange, green and blue. The gorgeous crochet doily skirt and collage knit sweater that opened the show, as well as a white confetti knit dress with bodice resembling a needlepoint square that followed both felt sweetly nostalgic and special enough to propel a purchase.

Hand sprayed arcs, cross hatches and plaids on wide-leg denim looked arty cool, and so did the brand’s take on sweats, with irregular paneling and piping in cactus, dune and other unusual colors. Ribbed knit skirts and tops added another dimension to soft dressing, while double-layer check sundresses and tops, and matching burnout velvet floral shrunken polo and miniskirt sets offered something cute to wear to a socially distanced dinner out.

“We’re not trying to say we’re a craft-oriented brand, but there is nothing we do that’s not touched by hands,” Latta said. “We wanted to showcase that in in our own way, with pieces that speak to a sense of time and labor now that COVID-19 has been asking everyone to slow down.”

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