Text by Robyn Dutra

It’s a familiar story in the cultural milieu called “downtown New York.” Two guys who “do nothing else professionally” start a fashion line from their digs on the Lower East Side. They begin with T-shirts and sweatshirts, colored and distressed by hand, emblazoned with images that “tell a story of past lives and the hollow figures we imagine in their absence.” And then the unexpected happens. Beyond the packs of kids clamoring for anything newly graphic, a fully-realized clothing line of exceptional detail and certain sartorial savvy takes shape.

After five seasons as THECAST under their worn leather belts, partners Ryan Turner and Chuck Guarino presented their sixth collection, Dogwood, following New York Fashion Week. The “cut and sew garments” blend the duo’s signature ruffian ­– silhouette mixed with black-tie dressing. As seen in THECAST’s look-book modeled by the rock ’n’ roll gypsy band Vietnam, antique-inspired tuxedo and duster jackets, soft Pima cotton tees and slim fitting button-down shirts with yoke backs play center stage. Inspired by the 19th century, the Wild West and cowboy culture, the designers’ “funereal and coy” look has in turn become something that is timeless. Turning outlaws into gentleman, THECAST just completed an installation in Tokyo at menswear boutique BBS, aptly titled “Badlands” and curated by surface2air. The garments on display, complemented by engraved pistols, human skulls and other objets d’art, bring the brand’s imagined heritage to life. Turner says, “I have a tendency to daydream. So I take all these things I like to think about and figure out which ones are worth making real.” The result? Whimsical yet entirely wearable threads based on “decadence and decay” that are sure to become fashion’s newest folklore.


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