Oct 05, 2017 | By Carlene Thomas Bailey
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New York: Hitting their stride in their fifth season, Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs are branching out from the strict, body-conscious looks that originally caught the industry’s attention. Although the designers say they still “use the female form to dictate the shape” of their work, S/S 11 presented a softness and use of texture which seemed new. Subverting traditional ideas of what constitutes “pretty” was at the top of the list, expressed via details like panels of leather pleating or headless torso motifs hiding in floral prints, while faux-brocade beading or burnouts communicated a rich opulence. Beginning the presentation with precise suiting and schoolgirl silhouettes, each exit became successively looser, arranged to “fall away from the body” until a parade of swirling, draped dresses closed the show. Beyond this play on shape, there was value in special touches like a trailing, deflated peplum edging a white chiffon blouse, or the sheer peekabo pleats in a leather kilt. With this realistic yet witty collection, Cushnie Et Ochs confirmed their status as one of the most exciting and directional talents of the New York season.
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