This season, the Texas-born designer Brandon Maxwell was not able to stride proudly down the runway with his grandmother at his side, for the final of his show. The woman he calls Mammaw, who inspired Maxwell from his earliest years with her love of fashion, has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and her condition was deteriorating, a brutal reality Maxwell was having a difficult time facing.
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“She’s a big part of my life”, he said. “I was going back to when I was a kid: While she was cooking I’d be in the back room taking blankets and wrapping them around my sister, emptying out her jewelry box, and making my sister carry one of her bags”.
“Mammaw’s clothes, and those in the store she managed, taught me forms that I wanted to take further. I like this idea so much that I made it my lifework”, notes echoed.
His Fall/Winter 2022 collection, held at the Daryl Roth Theatre in New York’s Union Square, was a tribute to Mammaw and to his childhood, learning to make ballgowns with bed sheets and blankets, or handbags out of his grandmother’s emptied jewelry boxes.
The collection is truly one of Maxwell’s best, elevating the everyday to the extraordinary. Blanket knits and crushed satin layers in a dusty Texas palette brought forth the comfort and coziness of home while his final floral printed gown was a “literal valentine” to his grandmother. Garments were fueled by a shared passion and love of craftsmanship, a continual form of communication between Maxwell and his Mammaw.
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