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.