Public School designers Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne said a few weeks ago that they would debut womenswear during their fall 2014 runway show only if it was perfect. And having seen it with our own eyes, we can attest that they did indeed show about 13 womenswear looks at Milk Studios this morning. So, was it perfect?
Pretty much. For one, it fit in seamlessly with the menswear offerings — this doesn’t always happen when designers do both men’s and women’s, which is perhaps partially why labels like Rag & Bone, Band of Outsiders and Timo Weiland choose to show the two separately. Of course, a big part of why this worked so well for Public School was the fact that the womenswear offerings were very menswear-tinged. Think trousers, button-downs, suiting and sweaters, all oversized and expertly layered (by stylist Kate Lanphear). These were topped off with some excellent outerwear. The parkas, capes, moto jackets and boyfriend coats were perfect: understated, practical (they truly looked warm and comfy) and irrefutably cool.
And while these borrowed-from-the-boys pieces were probably exactly what Public School’s female fans wanted, the designers experimented with more feminine looks, too: a cozy, chunky cream sweater dress, a chic jumpsuit and a short number that appeared to be a dress version of a varsity jacket. It all went down very smoothly.
It was an exciting moment for the young designers, who in 2013 won both the CFDA/Swarovski Award for menswear and the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. There was such a strong Vogue presence there — Anna Wintour, Virginia Smith, Lisa Love — that several big editors were relegated to the second row. Fashion-loving musicians Joe Jonas and James Murphy made it to the front, though. The show ended with a standing ovation. So, despite the dark hues of this collection, the future of these designers looks pretty bright.
Click through to see the full womenswear collection.