Newspaper article International New York Times

Dressing for the Future

Newspaper article International New York Times

Dressing for the Future

Article excerpt

The new DKNY collection by Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne made a striking visual picture, though you're not likely to wear it to the office.

The lights projecting gridlike patterns along the High Line were digital-monitor green, and smoke was pumping out over the walkway. On the soundtrack, a piano was crashing out a melody; soon, an electronic thump took its place.

It was 9 p.m., in the 12th hour of the sixth day of New York Fashion Week, and the future, such as it was, had arrived.

The setting, said the explanation accompanying Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne's new DKNY show, was "Neo SoHo." (The part of Neo SoHo was played by Chelsea.) You can imagine such a place: a Wi-Fi wonderland that counts your steps and reorders your groceries. Every Starbucks takes Bitcoin, and every store is a Starbucks.

Mr. Chow and Mr. Osborne, who were appointed to DKNY in April 2015, took a modishly dystopian view, one that seemed to be the theme of the night. (Rag & Bone's show, an hour earlier, likewise seemed set in some digital dystopia, though the collection itself skewed softer and blander.)

DKNY's tailored jacket of old -- clothes for working women -- had been cinched and stiffened into a kind of sexy, robotic carapace. (No need for a shirt.) Cotton sweaters dangled sleeves that extended long past the models' hands, as the current styling trend dictates. (No need for a hand.) Military-style parkas with pockets for essentials or munitions -- the wearer's choice -- were made in tulle.

"In the future, what will define New York style?" Mr. Chow and Mr. Osborne asked. "People talk a lot about our city's past, but we like to think about what's next."

Their outlook is bleak but tough, and their clothes looked ready for some soon-arriving war in the streets.

The collection made for a striking visual picture, which is no doubt the point, especially at the finale, when the entire band of models returned in low-cut hooded onesies, moon-boot sneakers and bras. …

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