Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne appear too relaxed for two guys who seemingly carry a whole city’s street cred on their shoulders. Ever since their label, Public School, caught everyone’s attention they’ve been anointed the ones to make New York cool again and in a couple of days they will be presenting their version of DKNY 2.0. So, expectations were high for this morning’s show. What is the next level for a brand rooted in streetwear and what does that term even mean anymore? The ‘street’ is often thrown around by designers eager to seem relevant but surely it’s more than adding a baseball cap into the mix. Chow and Osborne know this and today they sent out a quietly refined collection that underplayed all the hype. Save that for the other show.
The collection was centred on long monastic tunics and dresses layered over roomy trousers in strict white and midnight navy with the occasional subtle embroidery and cut-out detailing. Trench and rain coats were loosely belted while dresses were gathered with drawstrings at the waist. The hiker sandals that finished the looks were, if a little severe, an interesting suggestion for city summer dressing – you could see cool girls getting the subway in them. Equally interesting was their play on that business suit staple, the stripy shirt – the stripes running vertically at the front and parallel at the back. It’s these little touches that elevate a perfectly ordinary piece into something a little less that. But the wrap skirts that accompanied them seemed to belong to another show and so did the tennis knits, as great as they were. It’s when Chow and Osborne elevate staple items like a mesh bomber jacket that ran long with an eagle embroidered at the back that they’re at their best. A knitted tunic dress inlayed with a stripe over feather print trousers that looked paint-splattered showed them experimenting with engineering - that can only be exciting.