R13 Fall 2022 Ready-to-Wear

Chris Leba describes his R13 collections as “a sentence.” As with any good story, “You need to use all the words,” he said on video call. Before the pandemic, R13 delighted in graphic grunginess: Straightforward, big, baggy clothes. Cool, but not necessarily interesting. With pre-fall 2022, Leba changed his vernacular slightly, adding in weird and challenging silhouettes. His prose, suddenly, was alive.

The structural experimentation continues for fall 2022. Inspired by a gothic, witchy spirit, Leba has pulled the back collars of jackets and shirts up into hoods. The conical headgear is not just a styling trick—ballooning pleats are added to the back of each garment to make it modular, able to transform from a regular top to something closer to a habit. They’re spooky and strangely cool—something you might see kids on TikTok trying out.

Leba got here by reminiscing about his Limelight days: The New York club was famously lit by a church’s stained glass windows. That duality of sweet and sacred informs his work. When he really digs in, he’s able to produce singular garments that inhabit a space between hype and haunting. “We have this ability to do all this, and we were not showing people that we can actually do all these structural, interesting things,” he said about his pre-COVID studio. The proof is here: When Leba and his team want to flex their dementedly chic muscles, they are hard to beat.

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