Vote Audrey: Rachel Antonoff Sees the Future, and We Have Our First Female President

Left, campaign imagery courtesy of & Other Stories; Middle and right, party photos by Shawn Brackbill

Rachel Antonoff couldn’t have known how timely her campaign-based collection for the collaboration series with & Other Stories would feel at its launch party last night.

Not even a month after Hillary Clinton’s announcement, Antonoff fêted the release of her collection (officially in stores next Thursday, May 12), Wednesday night in Soho.

“We started working on this more than a year ago at this point,” Antonoff said, “we presented them with three different umbrella themes.” But the campaign motif was the winning story. The clothes are simultaneously modern and retro-inspired–think seersucker suits and railroad striped jeans and culottes, complemented by a to-the-point tee that reads “We Try Harder,” and a crewneck sweatshirt emblazoned simply with “It’s Time.”

Watch Vote Audrey here:

Thinking back to Cecily Strong‘s request at the White House Correspondents Dinner that journalists “solemnly swear…not to talk about Hillary’s appearance… because that is not journalism,” Rachel discussed the catch-22 that is the question of what women in politics wear. “It’s such a bigger question,” she said, “I’m constantly trying to figure out that balance. It’s so difficult to feel like you want to have equal rights and you don’t want to be treated a certain way because you’re a girl–you don’t want it to be assumed that you like certain things that you like because you’re a girl–but thenthere are certain things people might assume you like because you’re a girl, that you DO like, and it actually is almost anti-feminist to turn your back on those things, just because they’re the obvious–you don’t want to seem like a typical, whatever,” she said, echoing the confusion and frustration of a double standard we often feel when asking ourselves these questions.

“When it comes to politics, either we cover what the men and the women are wearing, or we don’t cover either…That’s the only way to do it. Granted, I mean, who’s gonna give a shit about what the men are wearing, but you just have to do it,” Antonoff concluded.

As for the political women whose style inspired the capsule collection, Antonoff noted that she’d been looking at pictures of Jackie Onassis and Carolyn Besette-Kennedy. “There’s just some really great style linked to the Kennedy’s but also just Americana, or patriotism, in general. We imagined it all kind of happening in this campaign office.”

Bringing that vision to life is Lena Dunham‘s vision of it all. It’s a dreamy four minute sequence which moves from Zoe Kazan‘s hopeful but rejected neighborhood canvassing efforts to a cheerful, and more importantly, hopeful, daydream of becoming the first female president, complete with choreography and a diverse, but all female group of judge/backup dancers.

Of the video, Antonoff said, “One of the many great things about Lena, she’s pretty great at extracting exactly what you didn’t even know you wanted from somewhere inside your brain and making it real. So she wrote the script completely by herself, directed…she’s one of the only people that I feel totally comfortable handing over the reigns to, like 100%, because I’m a little bit of a control freak, but she did a perfect job and it’s exactly what we hoping for.”

Dunham chimed in on Twitter, “Soon, this film won’t be total fiction. MADAM PRESIDENT 2016.” Though Dunham’s directorial/writing skills and Kazan’s acting chops are swell, Antonoff’s cheery and optimistic clothes are the true stars.


A sampling of Antonoff’s collection which will hit stores on May 12

Jenny Slate of ‘Marcel the Shell’ Stars in Bass Hearts Rachel Antonoff Lookbook

Fans of SNL alum Jenny Slate and Dean Fleischer Camp’s adorable "Marcel the Shell with Shoes On" videos will notice a familiar face in the spring lookbook for Bass Hearts Rachel Antonoff. A champion of cute herself, Antonoff tapped NYC comedienne Slate to star in the line’s latest range of retro-happy footwear that Marcel the Shell would approve of.

The lookbook features Slate enjoying a carnival day in Long Beach Island, New Jersey, rocking Bass Hearts RA’s array of flats, oxfords, and wedges. We’ve got our eyes on the sparkly transparent cut-out oxfords and polka dot wedges. See the complete lookbook here.

Collabs From Erin Fetherston & Rachel Antonoff

Yet more designer collaborations to report! Rachel Antonoff and Erin Fetherston are the most recent additions to the ever-growing, 50-Foot-Woman of a trend. Fetherston, who signed on to create an upscale capsule collection for the track suit mavens at Juicy Couture earlier this year, has been hard at work on a slew of velvet pieces just in time for holiday 2010. The collection, which Fashionologie debuted images of yesterday, includes a few numbers plucked from the boudoir: the Dolman Sleeve Gown ($378) looks ripe for nocturnal lounging. A festive boustier dress ($298) and a silk and velvet dress ($298) prove the most wearable features of the collection, alongside a jeweled button jacket ($228) and Roaring Twenties-inspired headpieces, handbags, and jewelry.The collection is currently up for grabs at Juicy Couture.

Meanwhile, Antonoff has been livening up Bass, another seasoned brand that could use a bit of refreshing. The NYC-based designer, whose namesake collection is continuously chock-full of fun, uber-feminine frocks, has put forth a mini footwear line that epitomizes whimsy. There are saddle shoes with a touch of floral flair and duck booties in denim. There’s also a classic saddle shoe transformed with a two-inch heel. And, as if the collection couldn’t get cuter (refer to the tiny albino kitten above), Antonoff tapped friend and drummer of The Like, Tennessee Thomas, to play the face of the collab. Check Paper here for a full look at the line, available for spring.

Playtime with Rachel Antonoff

Rachel Antonoff presented a collection of whimsical yet extremely wearable (save for maybe the tutus) dresses, blouses, and high-waisted pants for her eponymous SS10 line at the Henry Street Playhouse last night on the very same stage that her teenage grandmother had once put on plays (a fact the designer learned only after choosing the location). Certain outfits called to mind the kind of thing Katherine Hepburn might have worn while vacationing on the Cape circa 1940s. Quite a few looks, on the other hand, would likely have proved too girly for Ms. Hepburn’s taste — helping establish a level of cuteness augmented by the fact that the models decked out in said styles could be found engaging in a sword fight with their haphazardly crafted props.

Formerly at the helm of the now-defunct Mooka Kinney (alongside designer Alison Lewis, who has since likewise branched out on her own), this may have only been Antonoff’s second namesake collection installment. But it by no means bears the marks of a newbie. Given the presentation’s theme of play (the Playhouse, the mannequin in front constructing a house of cards, and, of course, the aforementioned taped swords), I asked Antonoff what her favorite games are. Not surprisingly they involve the imagination more than a rulebook (after all, the stage was marked by sings for the “Enchanted Forest” and the “Un-Enchanted Forest”). “My boyfriend and I play this really stupid game called ‘What would you rather …’ and it can just go on for hours. Like, if you could have one thing forever: bread or cheese? I think chocolate and cheese was the toughest. It can be anything, but usually it focuses around food. Although, we do ‘Which celebrity do you think is hotter’ too.” The only thing missing was burlesque maven and Citizens Band member Sarah Sophie Flicker, who had to cancel her performance after falling ill last minute.