The one thing about being a kid in school (public or private), is that when you make a mistake, you learn from it, fix it and move on. Which is exactly what Public School designers Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne did when they stepped down from their design posts at DKNY late last year after less than two years. Since stepping down they have been gracious, thanked both teams and talked about how much they had learned from working within a giant institutionalized brand like DKNY. It reinvigorated them, gave them a path forward for their own collection. And fall’s Public School offering had energy and reworked ’90s street style in spades.
The ’90s are alive and well chez PS, where Chow and Osborne re-imagine their youth on the streets of New York, pulling from the pantheon of hip hop, prep, club, grunge and work wear to create something entirely meant for the teens. Puffer coats and plaid shirts, pajama pants and velour sweats looked somehow cooler when put through the deconstructed sieve.
Strictly sartorially speaking, deconstruction was big here, as it has been for a few seasons. Sporty stripes were off-kilter or sometimes peeling off completely, jerseys and sweatshirts were cropped and layered or turned into mini dresses and pinstriped suits had the louche look of pajamas.
Even the trucker hat found new life here with a reclaimed political slogan: Make America New York. In Trumpian red. It was an homage to everything that was great about the ’90s. How about a sweatshirt with a giant face of Michael Jordan splashed across it? Maybe wearing his visage means for Chow and Osborne, that you follow the fundamental rules of: perfection, practice, commitment, persistence. Maybe it’s Chow and Osborne’s way of discretely saying, “Chicago, New York’s got your back. We had some rough decades, too.”
Now that the separation of their creative juices between DKNY and Public School are over, Chow and Osborne can focus on continuing to build their own brand. It started as a disruptive collection that the industry fell for. The onus is on them now to keep pushing.
By Nandini D’Souza Wolfe
From: Harper’s BAZAAR US
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