You never know what you’re going to get when you walk into a Jen Kao show, and her line sheets rarely provide a good explanation. This season was no exception. According to her notes, we could expect to see a woman who “moves with a relaxed aristocracy defined by challenging the rigidity of masculinity and the fragility of femininity.” Um, what? So we let the clothes do the talking.
Jen Kao’s 36-look fall 2012 collection was loaded with luxe materials, gorgeous detailing, and expert tailoring. The color palette was classically dark and autumnal–think navy, brown, and red, punctuated with fuchsia and teal. And Kao certainly has a knack for turning unlikely fabrics into totally wearable shapes: A full length black leather gown and flippy midi dress looked positively airy, while a thigh-length mink fur coat looked slim and militaristic.
Influences seemed to range from military menswear to grungy farm girl, to a trip to the traditional orient, complete with gorgeous embroidery. Many pieces were finished with fringe and dip-dyed hems, which was also reflected in the models’ pin straight, black-tipped hair. We also loved the ridiculously cute and cool baseball cloche hats, which added a cheeky little schoolboy vibe to the collection.
Sometimes Jen Kao’s clothes say more than her words.