This was among the more heavy-buzzed shows this season during Fashion Week, because Public School designers Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi Chow were unveiling their reimagining of the DKNY brand and image in this, their inaugural collection for the brand. And while you should always take the word of a couple of bloggers with a grain of salt, as far as we’re concerned, they nailed it. At one point, Tom leaned over to Lorenzo and whispered, “I didn’t think they’d do it, but they totally won me over.”
DKNY has always been very NYC-focused, both aesthetically and in terms of the type of customer to whom the brand has always been pitched: urban, confident, charismatic working women. Osborne and Chow, New Yorkers both, chose the basement transit corridor of the new World Trade Center, a location both annoyingly precious because of its near-impossibility to get to and from in the middle of a weekday, but also awesomely declarative as the ultimate setting to define the aesthetic of the new New York City. Or at least, the New York City seen through the eyes of the young, creative, and ambitious.
It’s not new or even exciting to mount an entire collection of womenswear based on menswear, but as each piece or look walked out, we got further and further away from the main inspiration: the basic mens pinstripe suit and more and more into a twisted and inspired interpretation of it, from sheer pinstrip knits to men’s jackets with the backs cutout to dresses that looked like nothing so much as a corrupted data file of a man’s suit. The sheer dresses and the photographic prints prevented a feeling of monotony, but in retrospect, they probably weren’t required. In the end, the duo showed the world a highly focused take on the NYC working woman in the types of garments that people in the fashion world tend to swoon over. What remains to be seen is if the public’s interest in this rebranding will be piqued as well.
[Photo Credits: Courtesy of DKNY]
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