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Christian Cota

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STRUCTURE + FLUIDITY

New York: Buzz has been building steadily around Christian Cota, especially after the designer picked up a CFDA Fashion Fund nomination this year and won the Fashion Group International Rising Star Award last year. In the past, Cota has struggled to find his fashion footing, his collections vacillating between tough and structured and romantic and free-flowing, but this season the two sides finally merged in one of his strongest efforts to date. Blazers were a standout, a study in relaxed tailoring with loose, draped collars and feminine yet sleek peplums; a few even juxtaposed sturdy suitings with soft lace and tulle panels to better explore the concept. Cota was at his best when pursuing this middle path, rather than going too far in one direction. For example, watercolor-printed tiered skirts and rosette-covered dresses looked saccharine, fussy and dated, but handkerchief-hemmed chiffon skirts and a shift dress with a crossover neckline perfectly captured the effortless ethos of the season.

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