Courtesy of S.R. Studio. LA. CA. / Noua Unu Studio

Brand: S.R. Studio. LA. CA.

Buy: S.R. Studio. LA. CA.'s website

Editor's Notes: S.R. Studio. LA. CA., the upstart luxury label founded by artist Sterling Ruby, is a hard brand to pin down. Insects are similarly difficult to pin down, though in an entirely different way. Fitting that creepy crawlies would inspire S.R. Studio. LA. CA.'s latest work, then.

For "INSECT INDEX," the brand's new capsule collection, Ruby and his team channel lofty insect-adjacent themes into some rough n' ready wearables.

For instance, two float jacquard wool sweaters are embedded with the names of Ruby's fictionalized critters, meshing together actual taxonomies and captions from biological texts into new creations like the "long jawed orb weaver" and "purple witch."

S.R. Studio. LA. CA. says "this process symbolizes an operatic death" wherein existing species rip and tear at each other to create a new being akin to real-world "consumption of reproductive mates" seen in the insect world.

I applaud the inventive reading but, really, it's a Burroughs-style cut-up at loftiest and an elevated twist on the classic graphic sweater at the core. The sweaters do have a cool boxy cut, though.

Elsewhere, upcycled denim pieces are given new life through experimental dye techniques and recut panels.

Some of S.R. Studio. LA. CA.'s trademark items return in this selection, including enormous bucket hats, boxy chore coats, tote bags, and generous "raver" jeans, occasionally fitted with sizeable patch pockets on the legs.

The insect metaphor doesn't really apply to this part of the offering but it's perhaps the best distillation of what makes Ruby's line so engaging: blue collar staples (remember, he's part of The Met's Americana exhibit) warped by dramatic silhouettes and elevated by hand-applied paint and dye that create inviting depth.

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