Given the fact that Co has been selling its clothes like hotcakes and launching in a bevy of new doors, it hardly seemed like the Los Angeles label was in need of a course correction. Nevertheless, the new Co collection certainly felt like one. Last season’s hyperromantic, maximally ruffled femme-ness was shorn away by designers Stephanie Danan and Justin Kern and replaced with clothes of a well-nigh monastic sobriety. Cassock shapes. Duster coats. Lots of black and lots of gray. Kern and Danan were obviously determined to emphasize autumnal-ness for Pre-Fall, to a degree almost perverse given their clothes’ summer delivery dates. They can get away with that, however, because the clothes they showed don’t really have a wear-by date: A black cape-back dress with a gently gathered waist isn’t going out of style anytime soon. Ditto an A-line coat in a raw silk jacquard flecked with turquoise and rust tones, the collection’s only hint of color. Danan, in an appointment today, said that she and Kern wanted to focus on an “adult” tone, and they certainly achieved that. They were also looking to evolve their range of knits—another box ticked. Standout pieces included a bell-shaped cashmere sweater that went from fine to dense as it made its way from neckline to hem, and a trim mock turtleneck with a dramatic, knit-on collar. This collection may have had less punch than the past few Co outings, but in its simplicity it may also have more staying power.

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