Mention Brandon Maxwell’s name and Lady Gaga’s multiple outfit changes at the 2019 Met Gala spring instantly to mind. Maxwell treasures his relationship with the superstar—he dressed her for the Oscars after-parties that year, too—and with the many other celebrities whose outfits he’s masterminded over the years. But he’d like to set the record straight. He got into the fashion business not to make event dresses, but because he loves tailoring. The red carpet maximalist is a minimalist at heart.
Maxwell makes the case for his tailoring with this pre-fall collection, which he built as a modular lineup. The sequin mini that punctuates the strapless zip-front dress and cropped pants in look 1 reappears elsewhere: accessorizing a sequin tank dress, and worn solo with silk-cashmere knits and an inverted lapel jacket. The same mix-and-match approach holds true for a button-down cut with lots of volume at the back. It works as both the third piece of a pantsuit and as a shirtdress. Also versatile: a tunic-length tank dress that morphs into a cocktail number with the addition of sheer base layers. The lookbook is a user-friendly how-to.
Bringing up his new morning tennis routine, and the rigorous scheduling required to manage not just this label, but also his Walmart collection and his work as a judge on Project Runway, Maxwell said, “I’m looking for consistency.” He’s betting his customer does too. The raw denim pleat-front, cargo-pocket trousers are modeled after pants that he put on his spring runway in September, and they look great with both a sleeveless ribbed tee and a matching denim blazer with those inverted lapels.