CHERCHEZ LA FEMME
Who is the modern woman?
Every season, designers contemplate this idea as they concept and design their latest collections. Although it seems like such an obvious question, it is interesting to watch trends unfold and common ideas come forth that thread designers, collections and seasons together into a commentary about current society’s sensibilities and thusly gender roles.
New York City’s modern woman can be found in downtown’s contemporary cool-kid designers. With a knockout combo of cerebral, culturally cutting-edge and career-minded inspirations, these designers combine polished functionality with an irreverent attitude mirroring the multi-faceted nature of today’s woman. Modeled by Luci Taffs, who’s very career was launched via social media selfies, she captures a self-assured spirit with a healthy dose of cheeky sexiness—certainly a look that resonates through the digital generation. Both NYC-based labels Jen Kao and ROOMEUR combine antonymous elements in their design philosophies that evolve female perceptions, perhaps pinning down that certain je ne sais quoi that defines the time.
Jen Kao is known for reinterpreting classics for the progressive and the self aware, ultimately providing a collection that has roots in wearability but is also aesthetically forward thinking. By expertly balancing contrasts, Kao consistently presents the idea of the unexpected. She combines minimalist with maximalist concepts and complicated geometric fabrics with clean-cut silhouettes. Her texturally commanding tech fabrics are reinvented for the everyday with soft draping and tailoring. Her NYU Studio Art education in three-dimensional design shines through her garment construction with plays on proportions and predisposition for fabric experimentation. While daring in the details, Jen Kao’s collections are well poised for working into every aspect of a confident wardrobe.
Described as the fusion of contemporary and traditional ideals, ROOMEUR is also the creative fusion between designers Hagit Kassif and Omer Poizner. The two met during their fashion design studies at the Shenkar College of Engineering and Design in Israel. It was always their dream of starting a brand together since that fateful moment, which finally debuted in 2012. Their FW 2013 collection continues the story explored in pre-fall about Frida Kahlo and rockets her into futuristic outer space. In a dark color palette with punches of turquoise, lilac and camel, the juxtaposition between these unlikely themes and curious fabric combinations (like scuba neoprene with Italian wool) culminates in fancy elegance with a casual nonchalance. Through these two worlds, the ROOMEUR woman is characterized as strong, multicultural and unapologetically feminine.
BLACK CAMI AND PATCHWORK SKIRT- JEN KAO, BOOTIES-CESARE PACIOTTI
BLACK SPAGHETTI STRAP DRESS- ROOMEUR
NUDE JEWELED TOP AND SHORTS- ROOMEUR, SHOES- ISA TAPIA
LEATHER SHIRT- JEN KAO, BLACK AND METALLIC SHORT- ROOMEUR
PATCHWORK “SWEATER” AND PANT-JEN KAO
SILVER LEATHER TOP AND BLACK LEATHER SKIRT- JEN KAO
BLACK OFF SHOULDER DRESS- JEN KAO
PATCHWORK “SWEATER” AND PANT- JEN KAO, BOOTIES- CESARE PACIOTTI