If you look over the notes I took during Jen Kao's spring 2014 show, you'll be no doubt bemused: "plaid with nipples hanging," "peek-a-boob," "nip slip!" "that cleavage!"--which, to be sure, wouldn't please Kao in the slightest.
"That definitely wasn't the intention!" she said backstage. Intentional or not, this was definitely one of Kao's sexiest shows to date.
For spring, The Los Angeles-based designer styled her models in oversized, flesh-baring bohemian silhouettes: deep, cleavage-bearing V-necks, flesh-baring blazers, and shirts and dresses sans bras, all paired with cheeky platform clogs. The first look was perhaps the most demure--a washed denim jacket paired matched with a denim mini skirt. Both looked unfinished--but intentionally-so, in that nonchalant '70s hippie kind of way. Other looks included draped knee-length shorts with plaids, asymmetrical bias cuts, mixed mediums of cotton plaid together with white silks, and one particularly chic sleeveless duster coat. A breezy, intentionally wrinkled dandelion hued dress (with matching shoes) was another standout.
Stronger still was Kao's work with embroidery work. Her artfully embroidered dresses and skirts and made the models look empowered, in a demure, tree-hugger kind of way, perfectly showcasing the talent that we've been documenting season after season from the young designer.
Models wore natural makeup and super sleek, long, straight hair a la Naomi Campbell. Or maybe an Afghan hound? Several models were joined down the runway by the silky-tressed pooches, the dogs' hair slick--if not slicker!--than their human counterparts.
"Literally this happened two days ago," Kao explained. "After doing the hair we were like, we need to get Afghan hounds for the show." These unexpected "accessories" made the collection that much more memorable. Well, along with the nipples.