Dover Street Market opened its Los Angeles outpost last weekend. One of the labels launched there was Christopher Peter’s new title, CDLM. (The name derives from “Cueva de las Manos” or “cave of the hands”, the same name as cave painting Peters likes.) He debuted it at the Peter Freeman Gallery in Lower Manhattan during New York Fashion Week in September.
Peters is no stranger to the fashion industry. He co-designed Creatures of the Wind, another New York brand with his partner, Shane Gabier for 11 years. Creatures of the Wind still exists but only operates on a project-related basis. The duo decided it was time to develop solo ventures. Gabier is focusing on furniture while Peters directs his attention to CDLM, a unisex label which repurposes deadstock fabrics. He collaborates with a network of vintage stores across America to source fabric for production.
His solo outing featured casting by Midland Agency which street casts faces in New York. (Eckhaus Latta, Hood by Air have also consulted the agency.) Actress and editor, Tavi Gevinson, and poet John Giorno were among the models in this show. They walked in circles alongside a coterie of unknown faces.
The clothes were decent if a little staid. He played with punk influences and dandy styles. Elsewhere, he reworked Polo Ralph Lauren hoodies and Oakland Raiders varsity jackets. (The use of Polo called to mind a milder version of Miguel Adrover’s manipulation of the Burberry check in 2000.) It also holds some cultural capital, what with the recent announcement of the Palace and Polo Ralph Lauren collaboration. The menswear approach didn’t define the collection, nor does Peters want it to. He told Vogue the collection is for everybody. CDLM can be added to the list of progressive brands foregoing gender constructs without it being the principal focus. Genderless fashion isn’t so much a concept as it is a reality for Peters’ generation.
The strengths were the designer’s articulation of both tailoring and consignment store fashion in the same collection in a distinct manner without it losing touch with the overall mood. But next season, it would be nice to see him push the envelope a bit more. The debut played it safe: old fabrics but no new ideas.