One of the many challenges for the spring 2022 season is how to marry the comfort of sweatpants and the polish of suiting in a way that feels inspired and innovative. Swaim Hutson has avoided the obvious with a spangly solution for his brand The Academy New York: Lurex bodysuits in startling colors like citrus and lilac are layered under roomy blazers. Hutson cited raves, discos, and good old fashioned parties as his references for this collection; they led him to psychedelic graphics, tuxedo ruffles, and a more optic sensibility.
In Hutson’s defense, a lookbook could never do justice to a live experience, and so if the images that live here on Vogue Runway feel a bit frosty, know that in the cell service-free back room of Primo’s a proper party broke out. Models clutched drinks in their hands as they swayed to music, making it hard to discern who was in the show and who was just there for some good vibes. It worked for Hutson’s message of glitzy togetherness. A double-breasted blazer dress, dotted with glitter, glistened in the disco ball light.
A model in a pinstripe, minute skirt set fiddled with her cocktail as her friend in a three-piece suit and frilled shirt stood with the confidence of the coolest girl in the room. Personalities bring Hutson’s clothing to life, and he designs to complement the people in his clothes, not overshadow them with novelty. This season he hit his mark.