Vote Audrey: Rachel Antonoff Sees the Future, and We Have Our First Female President

Left, campaign imagery courtesy of & Other Stories; Middle and right, party photos by Shawn Brackbill

Rachel Antonoff couldn’t have known how timely her campaign-based collection for the collaboration series with & Other Stories would feel at its launch party last night.

Not even a month after Hillary Clinton’s announcement, Antonoff fêted the release of her collection (officially in stores next Thursday, May 12), Wednesday night in Soho.

“We started working on this more than a year ago at this point,” Antonoff said, “we presented them with three different umbrella themes.” But the campaign motif was the winning story. The clothes are simultaneously modern and retro-inspired–think seersucker suits and railroad striped jeans and culottes, complemented by a to-the-point tee that reads “We Try Harder,” and a crewneck sweatshirt emblazoned simply with “It’s Time.”

Watch Vote Audrey here:

Thinking back to Cecily Strong‘s request at the White House Correspondents Dinner that journalists “solemnly swear…not to talk about Hillary’s appearance… because that is not journalism,” Rachel discussed the catch-22 that is the question of what women in politics wear. “It’s such a bigger question,” she said, “I’m constantly trying to figure out that balance. It’s so difficult to feel like you want to have equal rights and you don’t want to be treated a certain way because you’re a girl–you don’t want it to be assumed that you like certain things that you like because you’re a girl–but thenthere are certain things people might assume you like because you’re a girl, that you DO like, and it actually is almost anti-feminist to turn your back on those things, just because they’re the obvious–you don’t want to seem like a typical, whatever,” she said, echoing the confusion and frustration of a double standard we often feel when asking ourselves these questions.

“When it comes to politics, either we cover what the men and the women are wearing, or we don’t cover either…That’s the only way to do it. Granted, I mean, who’s gonna give a shit about what the men are wearing, but you just have to do it,” Antonoff concluded.

As for the political women whose style inspired the capsule collection, Antonoff noted that she’d been looking at pictures of Jackie Onassis and Carolyn Besette-Kennedy. “There’s just some really great style linked to the Kennedy’s but also just Americana, or patriotism, in general. We imagined it all kind of happening in this campaign office.”

Bringing that vision to life is Lena Dunham‘s vision of it all. It’s a dreamy four minute sequence which moves from Zoe Kazan‘s hopeful but rejected neighborhood canvassing efforts to a cheerful, and more importantly, hopeful, daydream of becoming the first female president, complete with choreography and a diverse, but all female group of judge/backup dancers.

Of the video, Antonoff said, “One of the many great things about Lena, she’s pretty great at extracting exactly what you didn’t even know you wanted from somewhere inside your brain and making it real. So she wrote the script completely by herself, directed…she’s one of the only people that I feel totally comfortable handing over the reigns to, like 100%, because I’m a little bit of a control freak, but she did a perfect job and it’s exactly what we hoping for.”

Dunham chimed in on Twitter, “Soon, this film won’t be total fiction. MADAM PRESIDENT 2016.” Though Dunham’s directorial/writing skills and Kazan’s acting chops are swell, Antonoff’s cheery and optimistic clothes are the true stars.


A sampling of Antonoff’s collection which will hit stores on May 12

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