Any long term New Yorker has broken down in public; crying on the subway is essentially a rite of passage. For their fall 2023 collection, Lily Miesmer and Jack Miner offered a love letter to that New York and those moments, when you’re despondent and walking around the city like you’re the only person who has ever been dumped (or whatever is causing you grief at that moment). “It’s like walking through a carnival and you’re really sad,” Miesmer said.
The design duo are not strangers to this distressed, sad girl bent. Their spring 2023 show was inspired in part by Bertha Mason, the woman in the attic in Jane Eyre. The fall 2023 woman is a slightly sleazy, kinda grungy ’70s-ish iteration of this idea. “She’s not polished, pulled together. She’s down and out in New York slightly, luck is not going her way.” If only we could all wander around depressed and wearing a fabulous, Maraschino cherry-red overcoat with bright white buttons, or a strapless cotton poplin dress with a drop waist skirt.
The outerwear in this collection is particularly strong. Miner and Miesmer often offer slightly destroyed versions of classic pieces, and this season they took that to the next level with a camel coat “ripped” at the shoulders and back to show the lining and padding beneath. A nubby cream shearling and the aforementioned red number are perhaps more digestible and appealing for regular use. The collection features a few suits (some, like one in red leather, with matching bras instead of tops) and eveningwear. Most interesting in the latter category is a bubble-hem strapless mini dress made of red cashmere—an unexpected but not unwelcome texture.
Looking at the clothes doesn’t conjure up this morose backstory. For one, they are polished, like armor for the wearer. Internally, the Interior woman may be hanging by a thread, but “she still has a fabulous coat,” Miesmer conceded.