Christian Cowan, a recent graduate from the London College of Fashion, already has an impressive clientele: Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus had a “bitch stole my look” moment rocking the same bedazzled pink tuxedo from the designer’s “Girls Like Us” collection. These pop-stars make outlandish statements both on and off stage, and they flock to Cowan for his maximalist and beautifully executed clothes. The designer’s recent showing in New York proved he has the talent to grow his brand into a full-fledged business.
Cowan’s Fall/Winter 2018 show was a much needed breath of fresh air amid some very dense collections. While other designers are more concerned with making statements about gender or the heated political climate, Cowan is all about pure fun. There is no complicated message to unpack here- just escapism through fashion. He is one of the few making clothes without that trendy, marketable factor that has become so monotonous in this industry.
For this collection, Cowan chose to show avant-garde looks keeping with his eccentric aesthetic. Highlights include a “black-and-white cookie” of a mini dress with a heavy dosage of plumes and a tailored suit in houndstooth that looks as if it was dipped in gold sequins- each one is definite Grammy’s best dressed list material. Elsewhere, a mesh polo-dress, a cropped metallic jacket with a foot of fringe, and a trench coat with check prints of varying sizes had youthful appeal the street-style set will fall for. With every newcomer, however, there are guaranteed slip-ups. At times, the collection could have benefited from a sharper focus. The brown fur jacket ensemble, for example, looked a bit cheap and out of place. Cowan no doubt has established himself as a definite star on the rise of New York’s fashion scene. Hopefully, he will continue to bring whimsy to an increasingly commercial city.