With the dissolution of the boundary between high fashion and the more utilitarian forms of clothing in the past decade or so, a new obstacle has emerged. How does an artist create clothing that nods to the beauty and delicacy of the ornate without sacrificing wearability? The process of overcoming this dilemma is at the center of the design ethos for Alex O’Kane, the man behind his eponymous NYC label OKANE. A collection of immensely well crafted minimalist but inspired pieces, OKANE is a demonstration of the means through which historical garments can be anachronistically thrust through time into the present, while maintaining a cohesive vision.
O'Kane's development has landed his garments on the likes of Peter Dinklage, Justin Bieber, Rauw Alejandro and more—filling a much-needed void for easily wearable pieces crafted with the care traditionally reserved for the more avant-garde. I spent a recent afternoon with O’Kane in his Manhattan studio to pore over his collections and hear about the genesis of his brand.