BTS | Linder FW19 Mens Collection
Linder Menswear routinely formulates a narrative throughout each collection, however, the FW19 season shifts from a personal tale to a historical reference. Menswear designer, Kirk Millar compares the reign and execution of the Russian Royal Family, The House of Romanov, to present day identity shifts within the garment industry. Fashion sits in a volatile period with transitions in consumer awareness and integrity. Kirk recognizes the social changes, juxtaposing the Romanov family to be of equal descent. The Russian tale serves as a century-old warning, influencing the Linder name to push boundaries and break barriers. At the fifth avenue Salmagundi Club, we spoke with Kirk to view behind the scenes content and inspiration for FW19.
How did the Romanov family spur inspiration for this collection?
Their murder was a century ago, so it felt like it was in the air. I had been watching a documentary and was already interested in the whole family, the tragedy, and just the entire package in general. I felt like it was very pertinent; we're at the turn of the century, so a lot of things were shifting variably and rapidly.
How does this collection compare and contrast to past work?
The last two collections before this were very personable. They were based on personal narratives; the first one was about coming out, and the next one was about what you do after that as a gay person, figuring out your relationships and that kind of thing. And so this was a departure from that by using a story that's outside of my own experience. I used it as an allegory of where fashion is. A lot of what I grew up loving about fashion is now shifting and changing; people want something different.
What’s your favorite piece?
I love the silk scarves. They were super fun to design and on them, they have little narratives of the Romanov’s and the different family members in relation to each other.
For Linder shows, both men and women, masculine and feminine energy are equally balanced. How is that expressed in this collection?
For me, I always start with what my friends are wearing, what I'm wearing, and that’s mostly denim. Denim is always a staple and an easy thing, to begin with. Well, truth be told denim is not easy to make especially trying to make a pair that feels like you; it’s actually very difficult. I always want there to be a balance. I want it to be wearable, but I also want to feel the fantasy of something more opulent.
How did you decide on this space, and how does it best reflect this collection?
Our set design is supposed to reflect a home that's been shuttered. It mirrors the notion of the Romanov family having to flee their palace, so I wanted a place that felt opulent and traditional. The look book for this is dark and eerie, so in contrast to that, the clothes here get to pop in front of a historical place.