Text: Alec Coiro
All Images Courtesy of The Third Story
The name Third Story alludes to designers Daphne Gutierrez and Nicole Noselli’s embarking on their third label as collaborators after having already created Bruce and the subsequent Bruce II.
I was at their studio last year interviewing them for our retrospective on Bruce, a label that epitomized the independent design in New York at the turn of the century, and caught their progress on Third Story out of the corner of my eye. At the time it was a confection of fabric swatches, sketches, and potential, so it was exciting to see the final product unveiled.
With Third Story, Gutierrez and Noselli have started out with a collection that is modest in its amount of pieces offered, but far from modest in terms of the confidence with which it comes across. At this point in their career, Noselli and Gutierrez’s concern seems to have turned to creating the clothing they would like to wear themselves, and the result is a design-forward pieces that are more than likely to stay in heavy rotation in the buyer’s closet. It seems to me clothing breaks down into three general categories: basics, clothes you intend to wear, and clothes you actually wear. Third Story celebrates this last category with elegance, embroidery and a nod to the past.
Their jumpsuit stands out as an admirably contemporary piece that seamlessly foregrounds its retro 70s and 80s influences. The elegant embroidery throughout the collection creates a unique look without making the piece about the designers’ craftiness. All told, the inaugural Third Story collection strikes an exquisite balance between easy-to-wear and strikingly unique. It’s an achievement that could only have been pulled off by designers who’ve been at it long enough to know what works and what they like.