story by Lisa-Maria Radano
photos by Charles Beckwith
Finding beauty in the tools of bodily constraint was the admitted goal of this Spring 2014 collection by Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs. Straps, buckles and bandages are not very attractive when found in a hospital milieu, but with a bit of alchemy, these elements did a sharp glissade down the knife blade runway of Mistresses Cushnie and Ochs, giving glamour to spare.
With a palette of slate, nude, ivory black, and white, the design duo resumed their brand of fitted sheaths and slacks with strategic cutouts and reveals, here made the more complex by an intricate system of straps that seemed to function almost as pulleys – the complexity of which made me think that at least one of these two paid attention in math class and even found a way to make adult use of that subject discarded by most of us.
We know actresses and at least one F.L.o.T.U.S. love C&O, and why is as clear as the designs themselves. All statement and zero fuss, these frocks don’t hug a trim frame so much as grip it. The pedigree of the clientele, to say nothing of the clothes’ flawless materials and craftsmanship, were all reflected by the haughty perfection of Karlie Kloss and Chanel Iman’s walks. Not one look, strap, or step was extra. Not a foot put wrong.
Swimwear is a new endeavor for the brand, a development that makes almost ridiculous sense. The bandage-y white one and two pieces packed the same punch as the dresses, and no doubt stay put when you come out of the pool. Or else.
While there were a few draped cupro gowns and some flippy viscose fit and flares, seriously, what, are we kidding here with the forgiving folds? Even the charming surprise of a silky trouser and a Grecian in royal plum fooled nobody. For, in truth, the only frivolous thing about this brand is the “et” they employ in their title. If you want to know who these two are, look no further than number 22 in the run of show: a reverse halter bustier atop sleek trousers, each in deepest black. The collar at the neck resembles a leash; feebly attempting to hold this woman back, at the same time saying, “don’t even.”