During the late 1960’s, serial killer Charles Manson fostered a cult quasi-commune in the California desert, where the “Manson Family” would eventually write and record their album The Family Jams. For SS ’16, rising NYC label Boyswear pulled unlikely inspiration from the murderous clan to piece together a darkly humorous collection fittingly titled, “The Manson Family Singers.”
Designer Jackson Mckeehan looked at elements of traditional Tyrolean costuming and injected those with subtle, tongue-in-cheek references to “The Sound of Music” this season. Nostalgia pervaded the collection’s silhouettes, from Mckeehan’s boyish overalls to his high-waisted, wide-legged jeans. It wasn’t at all difficult to imagine the models wildly dancing in a circle, chanting to flickering candlelight and acoustic guitar.
The label’s name alone alludes to childlike innocence, which happily aligned with the collection’s surface level aesthetic. When placed into context with the psychedelic trip of Manson’s blindly bloody posse, however, Boyswear’s presentation was inherently unsettling.