Ohne Titel’s Flora Gill and Alexa Adams arrived on the fashion scene in 2007 thoughtful, smart, and well-educated designers with CVs that included Helmut Lang and Karl Lagerfeld, who created clothes for what they called “confident, modern women” that often relied on a visual art reference (previous include Jean-Joseph Benjamin-Constant and Tom Wesselmann). They had a knack for advanced, techy textile techniques and sporty, futuristic shapes and a way with a fit-and-flare silhouette, and they began racking up accolades from their earliest collections. They were twice CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalists, and they won an Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation award for womenswear in 2009, the same year they were nominated for the Swiss Textiles Award. And today we have learned that they are folding their label, that their Fall 2016 collection will not be produced, and that they have begun the process of shutting their doors for good.

Praised primarily for their knitwear, Adams and Gill had a singular preoccupation with pushing textiles to new, advanced places—their loss is badly timed, at least for the 2016 Met Gala. Their last collection, made in a partnership with Shapeways and Microsoft, was a feat of engineering, with 3-D–printed chain links knitted together in flexible swathes so as to be able to unfurl with every step. It was a torrential downpour in New York that day, and it was not a well-attended show, but there seemed to me then, as now, lots of things to wear, mostly in the form of chicly goth-y easy knit dresses, the type with hanger appeal in spades. Gill and Adams were charming and effusive backstage, as they always were, poring over the details of their dresses and ruminating on the future of 3-D printing technology. One of their doting mothers was there, helping the models get dressed. It did not seem like a troubled environment. So what happened, and how? Without knowing the particulars, and with apologies to Ernest Hemingway, these things typically break down two ways: gradually, and then suddenly.

So let’s start with the gradually. There are several inarguable facts to be had: The first, perhaps most important, being that there has never been a more inhospitable climate for small, independent designers than the one we have today. This is a fact that everyone and anyone tells you and that I used in probably half of my reviews from this past season, because you can’t really talk about fashion without talking about the world, and the world is not feeling very good lately. Politics and terror and the plummeting price of oil, the ridiculous stock market, and a system that feels rigged have all led to a retail environment one might describe as “unsteady.” People are not spending money like they used to, they are not buying clothes the way they used to, and even if they are, it’s not in the way that the retailers are used to them doing it.Read more at:Blue Prom Dresses | White Prom Dresses