Visiting the G-Star Raw showroom was like walking into another universe where once you walk through the doors you become one of the infinitely cool. Two large rooms, one for men and one for women, are filled with row upon row of garments with retail-ready apparel side by side with the runway looks that inspired them. Outrageous foiling on jeans and shorts, and jeans with bright yellow plaid, were fun to look at and, although made solely for the runway, highlighted how far this brand would go if the US consumer were a little more daring.
It's easy to think that the possibility of going through all of the racks would be overwhelming, but when every item looked at outdoes the last, the feeling never has a chance to surface. The reason for the quantity is that there are several collections, as well as a collaboration with Marc Newsome, under the G-Star Raw brand, some of which are relatively new. They are Raw Essentials, Low-T, Organic Raw, Correct Line and GS Destroy. There are some elements that carryover into each line like chunky knits and dresses, but for the most part, each collection has it's own distinct look.
The first thing that stands out this season is the use of color, and not just any color, but bright primary and secondary colors, such as yellows, greens and blues. This is most evident in the Raw Essentials line where the bright colored outerwear seen on the runway was toned down for the collection. Most of G-Star's offerings would appeal to denim aficionados, but Raw Essentials is a line that was made just for them. For Fall, Japanese selvedge denim is dyed with dark indigo or left in it's natural greige state on jeans and outerwear. Shorts, meant to be worn with tights, were made of heavy denim and were either slightly worn or destroyed, making them tough enough for Fall.
A new addition to the G-Star brand is the women-only Low-T collection, inspired by Liv Tyler, who also offered some creative input. The line is characterized by soft, feminine looks with lightweight denim leggings, coated skinny jeans and faded blues. Low pockets on denim skirts and jeans are a characteristic of the collection which carries the first non-denim DenimHunt favorite this season; a structured black blouse with a cowl neck, whose subtle architectural details signify that, although the brand is committed to it's female customers, still retains an aesthetic that is decidedly G-Star.
Heading into it's third season is the Organic Raw line. I admit, I was never aware of this line before the Fall preview and was pleasantly surprised by what it represented. The Organic Raw line is made of 100% organic cotton where even the buttons are made of recycled materials. The design team is able to use this line in order to experiment with sustainable materials and also incorporates this into the regular line. The theme for Organic Raw is "Inside/Out" where details that are normally inside are on the outside as evident by G-Star's signature 'Arc' pant which uses the reverse side of denim as the outside and has distinct seams.
Raw Correct is G-Star's take on office workwear and is also in it's third season. This collection is clean with no visible logos and contains mostly tailored looks for both men and women with a suit being included in every collection. The Fall season takes inspiration from 19th century carriage riders but, again, still maintains that look we associate with the brand. For example, a men's plaid pant has a slightly dropped crotch, but still manages to be office-appropriate.
Last but not least, there's GS Destroy and the name says it all. Where the rest of the brand is mostly raw, GS Destroy is destructed and heavily abraded denim.
After viewing all of the collections it was evident that as large and popular as the brand has become, they still continue to push the envelope and maintain their core design aesthetic.For that reason, I will always look forward to seeing what they come up with season after season.