Since his last runway show, set in 2020, designer Jonathan Cohen has been focusing on his Upper East Side boutique and showing collections off-calendar. On Saturday morning he returned to New York Fashion Week with an intimate presentation set within Hotel Chelsea.
“I was inspired by looking at the Impressionist movement. Back then when they arrived, it was very punk rock — breaking the rules, causing controversy and rock stars in that sense. Now when we look at it, it’s almost like calendar paintings — the antithesis. It was interesting that something that was so radical at the time becomes classic. It’s why you need to push [boundaries],” he said. His venue choice — the previous home to many artists (Cohen cited Patti Smith) — directly tied into the idea.
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Cohen didn’t lean into the punk ethos, but rather the crafty, arty angle for his techniques of utilizing fabric scraps to create the collection’s 3D floral appliqués, floral linings and colorful thread details that ran through his seasonal shirting. Also, his hand-embroidered black gown covered in colorful, upcycled 3D embroideries made in collaboration with Péro.
A majority of the collection leaned into Cohen’s signature hand-drawn floral-filled ethos, with designs ranging from knit dresses with exploded blooms and embroidered knit tops to dazzling fitted dresses, debut kaftans, matching sets and coats (a trench with bulbous sleeves) for every occasion. To round out the assortment, he peppered in abstract gem motifs (two jacquard dresses), said to be inspired by azurite stones he saw at the Natural History Museum; leather, and a few, equally strong, monochrome moments.
To boot (quite literally), the designer teamed with Marina Larroudé’s buzzy shoe label, Larroudé to create a collection of collaborative footwear (boots, sandals, platform heels) in Cohen’s collection fabrications, all of which are available for preorder.
Launch Gallery: Jonathan Cohen RTW Spring 2024
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