Goldsign Fall 2018
by Thomas Sweeney
Photographed by Hanna Tveite
With ‘90s minimalism having unofficially set the tone for the past few seasons, perhaps it’s time to consider whether neat-waist trousers, androgynous shirting, and a natural palette (to name just a few hallmarks of the decade) should really stay trends at all. Presciently, one vertically integrated denim line, the Los Angeles-based Goldsign, deemed them eternal upon its reboot in 2016 under the veteran designer Karen Phelps, who was once a lead designer at Calvin Klein Jeans. For Fall 2018, she makes an incremental addition of cuts, fabrics, and washes to Goldsign’s classic lineup of five-pocket styles, underscoring her penchant for the scaled-back ‘90s and the utilitarian (and egalitarian) nature of American design..
Clients of The Apartment by The Line—New York will be able to immerse themselves in all the subtle detailing during Goldsign’s second autumn residency for the retailer (the first took place a year ago at The Apartment by The Line—Los Angeles). To kick off the event, a cocktail party featuring Karen herself will take place in-store on September 12 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. What’s more, the embroiderer Marie-Sophie Lockhart will be present to thread custom designs onto new denim purchases.
This season sees an emphasis on volume and structured shapes speaking to more of a ready-to-wear approach in denim.Karen Phelps
While Goldsign is known for consistency, Karen speaks openly about her slightly nuanced approach to simplicity for Fall 2018—an approach that evolves the concept of a decade-transcending ‘90s. “This season sees an emphasis on volume and structured shapes speaking to more of a ready-to-wear approach in denim,” she says. “The Flat-Front Trouser blends tailoring references like stripped-back stitching and concealed hook-and-bar closures and is cut in a voluminous, wide-leg silhouette in Japanese fluid corduroy.” Another key silhouette is that of the second-skin A Jean, with its sharp “A” shape and ankle-length hem. “Each season, Goldsign continues to embrace considered detailing and architectural lines cut in clean, flat denim finishes,” Karen explains. “The A Jean very much speaks to this idea.”
Each season, Goldsign continues to embrace considered detailing and architectural lines cut in clean, flat denim finishes.Karen Phelps
With those flat finishes, of course, come new understated washes (proprietary to Goldsign) that are represented throughout the collection in red-cast indigos and marbled blues, which, says Karen, are two essentials for the fall season. “Our Pressed True Blue wash is ‘90s-inspired with a feminine marbled-blue surface and finished with a clean trouser press,” she says. “And the Mora wash is a clean, refined rinse with a soft-to-the-touch feel and crafted in our signature Warp Stretch denim.” Karen is keen on the fabric’s structured-but-molded nature, and explains its virtues thusly: “Warp Stretch refers to a reverse stretch where cloth is woven to stretch in the length rather than in the width. This nontraditional approach in construction gives the appearance of a non-stretch denim but with ultimate comfort.”
Karen is quick to point out how Goldsign manages to stay ahead of the curve in terms of washes and fabrics. “We develop our collection in Los Angeles and are one of the few brands that are fully integrated,” she says. “Our design and development process is streamlined and a true partnership with our team of in-house pattern makers, sample room, factory and wash house. This makes for a seamless and efficient turnaround time to produce these washes.” On September 12, New York clients will get an intimate peek at that West Coast efficiency, with an event that builds on the aesthetic links between the denim brand and the bicoastal retailer. “Our L.A. shop-in-shop event for friends and clients last year was such a special evening,” says Karen. “Now that we’ve been partners with The Line for exactly a year, we felt it was the right time to carry the residency concept over to the New York location, to celebrate two companies with a unique point of difference.”
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Styling Katie Burnett
Makeup Rei Tajima
Model Lili Sumner at Next Models