Fashion–or, in this case, the fashion industry–is like a Russian matryoshka, one of those funny wooden dolls that opens to reveal another...and another...and so on. On one level, designers go about their jobs thinking up new temptations for wary shoppers; on another, deeper level, the industry reacts to trends having more to do with business models than skirt lengths.
For years now, the business side of fashion has been obsessed with collaboration, bringing two or more talents together in the hope they'll create something special. Think of it as fashion physics: one star plus another should produce a big bang. Sometimes it works (Hedi Slimane for Dior Homme), sometimes it doesn't (Isabel Toledo for Anne Klein) and sometimes, as with Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel, the result is so much greater than the sum of its parts it becomes a fashion supernova. Very rare, of course, and usually unstable, but hot, hot, hot while it lasts.
FA2L's collaboration du jour isn't as hot as Karl's: in fact, it's much cooler. Tretorn, maker of Prepdom's favorite tennis shoes, let Comme des Garçons tweak its basic sneaker. We love the odd juxtaposition of labels, and the simple, understated shoes such subversive teamwork produced. Buy them now at Odin, NYC, and walk the fine line between The Preppy Handbook and Japanese fashion's avant-garde.