Designers Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne have said that in launching womenswear they didn’t want to create a girlfriend for the Public School boy. The two are more likely to share clothes than to share a bed. “Every season, the concept starts from the same place, and it’s a collaborative effort throughout,” said Osborne after today’s Fall show. “We always want men’s and women’s to share the same fabrics and share the same silhouettes and feel.”

The feel for this season was a mix of utility, sport, and sophistication, with a whiff of coziness in the padded anoraks, wool and gauze layers, shadowy plaid flannels, robe-like overcoats, elongated tunics, and supersized scarves. Long and layered, flowing, voluminous, and a bit high tech, each look was like a system that worked to create a new solution to getting dressed. A sporty anorak was made chic paired with a long pleated skirt (on her); a mohair bomber was the perfect topper to baggy mélange knit trousers (on him); and various sleeveless vest iterations became interesting function statements (on both). This felt like unfamiliar territory in the best way possible. Funny, then, that Chow cited a decade past as inspiration. “It was a personal trip down memory lane,” he said. “We’ve been really inspired by the early-’90s club scene in New York, the transition from house to hip-hop—all these different styles. It was all about dance style and personal style and how those two things informed each other.”

There was that sense of culture clash here—the Deco jacquard and brushstroke prints were pleasantly incongruous among all the black, white, gray, and plaids—but they didn’t scream ’90s. As Chow said, this was a personal trip. What we got was another collection that proved just how promising this brand is, and evidence that the designers are better at innovating than at looking back. Isn’t that what we need right now?

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