Wolk Morais Spring 2024 Ready-to-Wear Collection

It’s been nearly a decade since Brian Wolk and Claude Morais, the designers behind Wolk Morais, traded the intense energy of New York City for the chill vibes of Los Angeles. Pioneers of the great fashion migration of the early 2010s, they’ve settled into Hollywood with a network of friends in the film industry. The pandemic forced everyone to find clever ways to present collections outside of traditional runway spaces. As movie buffs, they found a solution in creating films, and along the way decided they preferred the medium. “It’s helped us express our designs in a much more full and rich way,” Wolk noted.

Recto/Verso is the 11th Wolk Morais collection and their fourth fashion film. The title roughly translates from Latin to ‘front’ and ‘back’, and it explores the cult of celebrity and the double-sided nature of public and private personas. Inspired by Jean Genet’s play Elle, and narrated by their friend Alan Cumming, it was filmed at Western Costume, the legendary Hollywood costume house that the designers visit regularly.

This collection picks up where they left off in previous seasons, utilizing deadstock textiles to evolve brand silhouettes like red carpet gowns, and sharply tailored suits and ruffled blouses that make them a go-to for the likes of Cate Blanchett, Janelle Monae, Natasha Lyonne. The concept of duality came through multiple ways: gender fluidity, interchangeability of prints and patterns, and that each item was crafted from two contrasting fabrics. Nearly all of the pieces had a bold pattern in the front and the absence of that in the back.

Suits in bold plaids or houndstooth were cut with peak lapels and a fluid flared pant; A sheer bias-cut gown was sewn from ’80s couture silk devoré and lace; and deadstock denim was used for workwear jumpsuits and capes. Vibrantly-colored catsuits, styled as a base layer throughout, were made with lace leftover from the ’70s, found in a studio that specializes in dance costumes.

Sustainability plays a big part in Wolk Morais collections, and the two find working within the parameters of pre-existing materials forces unexpected but interesting outcomes. It makes sense that they favor film over stills because it illustrates the texture and weight that inform the movement of a garment, and this collection deserves that screen time.

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