The Dutch designer’s capsule foregrounds the energies, attitudes, and sartorial preferences of the city

“In New York, I always feel a sense of purpose,” says Dutch designer Lucas Ossendrijver. “People are always going places, and their attitude and the way they dress reflects this.”

Ossendrijver, whose name was once synonymous with Lanvin menswear, recently announced his latest design directions—a collection with Theory Project which will premiere on September 7 in the Meatpacking District’s Gansevoort Plaza. New York’s energy, and the versatility it requires, served as the innovative capsule’s blueprint: “[The city’s] styling is a mix that feels accidental and blurs categories. It’s the unexpected element that inspires me,” says Ossendrijver.

Left: Choreographer Kyle Abraham. Right: Dancer Morgan Amirah Burns.

At the heart of the city’s culture is movement: performance, fluidity, quick transitions from place to place and from work to play. The demands of such a culture necessitate a uniform that accommodates. Ossendrijver envisioned something utilitarian and minimalistic: finely-tailored bombers and parkas, wool jersey t-shirts, single-pleated trousers in neutral, earthy shades. Traditional suiting is updated with recycled technical fabrics, and femininity is expressed through plissé column skirts, tiered silk dresses, tie necks, and flounce sleeves.

Left: Dancer Gianna. Right: Choreographers Silas Riener and Rashaun Mitchell.

The collection will have the chance to exhibit in context: A site-specific performance series will be staged in the geographic heart of New York’s historic dance culture. Amid live music, and using the city as stage, four preeminent choreographers—Kyle Abraham, Heidi Duckler, Rashaun Mitchell, and Silas Riener—will collaborate with modern dancers to give testament to the capsule’s functionality and to New York’s timelessness.

“I am drawn to Theory because we both believe in empowering people—making their life easier and making them feel good about themselves,” continues Ossendrijver. “Because of Theory’s scale and the purposefulness of the products, the clothes have real impact.”

Silas Riener and Rashaun Mitchell.

This impact should be felt by the communities these clothes are made for—New York’s present and future, and anyone perpetually in-motion. “It’s not about creating editorial looks that look great in an image or on a catwalk,” says Ossendrijver. “It’s a product that lives on the streets.”

Left: Choreographer Heidi Duckler. Right: Dancer Savannah Gaillard.

Movement of New York, in celebration of Theory Project by Lucas Ossendrijver, with performances by A.I.M. By Kyle Abraham, Heidi Duckler Dance, and Rashaun Mitchell + Silas Riener, will premiere Wednesday, September 7, 5:30pm, at Gansevoort Plaza, NYC.

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