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One Night in Paris With Christian Cowan –

One Night in Paris With Christian Cowan

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Christian Cowan has been steadily gaining traction over the past year. The 22-year-old British designer is a recent alum of the London College of Fashion, and was already designing show costumes for Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus before his final school assignment was due. In the six or so months since he’s graduated, he’s been tapped by Rihanna and Bella Hadid for one-off custom pieces—and still that was before last night, when he made his New York Fashion Week debut.

And quite the debut it was. Safely tucked away from New York’s sub-zero snow storm, we dived straight into Cowan’s world, which—as his famous clientele might suggest—is loud, bright, emblazoned with catchy motifs, dripping with glitter, and favors natural herbs over tobacco; high fashion, rolling even higher with a heavy toke on a spliff. Cowan’s is an unapologetically viral cosmos too, one decidedly connected to internet click-ability and celebrity pop culture—and he navigates it with graceful, tongue-in-cheek ease, the way only someone born in 1995 could.

The show’s starting lineup was a heady mixture of attention-stealing looks. Any number of them could arguably be crowned the key anchor, but if we had to single out one, we’d elect the designer’s use of rhinestones, which studded everything from pantyhose to sheer tops and head nets. The sparkly gems also appeared on each of the models‘ faces, where they were complimented by a heavy slick of rainbow wave, Boy George-esque eye color, deftly applied backstage by makeup artist Isamaya Ffrench.

Other reoccurring elements for Fall 2017 included fishnets, satin, glitter, more glitter, cut-out chaps and bralettes, and headwear. There were looks for cowgirls, club girls, strippers, show girls—and Paris Hilton, who appeared in a baby pink, nipple-skimming crop top and pencil skirt ensemble and a silver sequin gown as Cowan’s Prom Queen to end the show.

From start to end, the collection was fun and, more importantly, it felt genuine. At only 22, this first show was a strong foundation from which Cowan can grow.

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