Wednesday, February 16, 2011

On Jen Kao, Fall 2011: A Review

(Note: Saw the show yesterday at NY Fashion Week and wrote a short review of it when I got home. Have to say, I am baffled by the speed at which those journalists review the shows and publish them online! How do they remember everything?!! My iPhone photos did not turn out at all!!)

 A dramatic crescendo into 10cc’s classic “Im Not in Love” kicked off a string of Ziggy Stardust-inspired looks at Jen Kao–but with an underwater subtext. Iridescent and metallic finishes, like on a floor-length mermaid skirt and on the “ultraviolet gill platform wedge boots”, alluded to a deep-sea inspiration. This was echoed in a poem that Kao penned in 1999 and left copies of for her audience, in which she speaks of jellyfish and a “mollusk Tear of Joy”.

When the song changed to none other than “Ashes to Ashes” by Bowie himself, the clothes were right there with it; Jersey blazers and mini skirts printed with acid rainbow psychedelic prints, skin-tone tights studded with silvery specks, flared pants, and plenty of fringing details were a not-so-subtle nod to the wild looks of the artist’s early 70’s persona. Fox and mink furs with neon pink accents as well as gold glitter eyebrows and a lot of gold in general further kept with the rock star theme. Yet in doing so, the flashy, sometimes impractical pieces (like a wide-knit crocheted mini skirt) got lost in an overwhelming intensity that never mellowed down after that first crescendo. Still, Kao’s exploration of vibrant color was a brave venture into unexplored territory (her last season’s collection consisting only of dusty neutrals), proving an adaptability that keeps her fresh and edgy.
(pics credit: NYTimes)


Jenna said...

I don't pretend to understand high fashion, but I understood this. Fun reading!

j'taimee said...

Most blogs I read covering NYFW are really only showing the clothes and talking about their own opinions, etc. I'm so glad that you took the time to walk us through more elements of the show - showing a collection is so much bigger than clothes. Thanks!