Review of Christian Cowan

Fall 2022

Review of Christian Cowan Fall 2022 Fashion Show

Sass in The City

By Anna Ross

Christian Cowan’s clothes are the kind that turn up the volume to the max – even if you don’t like the music.

They’re unabashed, totally unashamed and at times, completely unhinged. The designer states to represent “New York nightlife re-defined for the modern woman.” Now, I’m a Londoner, but I’ve had my fair share of New York nights, and to me, the city tells a decidedly different story. 

Sure, there’s a place for sass in the city, but in 2022 the world and its wardrobe feels like a decidedly different deal. The pandemic has written a new, more relaxed – and certainly more comfortable – rulebook upon every day (and every night) dressing. Tonight, Cowan’s models appeared to physically struggle in some of the outfits and the footwear, which can often translate as a misunderstanding between the concept, clothes and end customer. Pain can be beauty, but blisters – perhaps not.

Cowan seems to have got the memo on the need for more body diversity on the runway – and it was refreshing to see his creations looking fabulous on women of all sizes – but there’s nothing celebratory about discomfort. 

That aside, these clothes certainly delivered on disco-worthy moments. Top of the charts: his more ‘understated’ offerings. There was refinement seen in a two-piece suit contoured with gold hardware; a Tom-Ford-esque moment in a slick black dress with a diamante boob tube, and a fabulous sequin drenched shift dress, scattered with palettes of multiple sizes. 

 I adored the juxtaposition of Cowan’s slip dress, complete with an entire plume of feathers at the rear. Black tie at the front, big bird at the back. A Jeckle-and-Hyde dress if there ever was. 

Elsewhere, Cowan’s offering sure packed a punch but felt a little peculiar. A show laden with sequins leaves those more sustainably inclined to ponder their afterlife, but then again, perhaps his creations will thrive on the rental market. Throughout, Cowan tried his hand at a few major trends: a heavy helping of the 90’s was seen in thong-backed dresses, mini-skirts galore, diamante studded bralettes and his own bedazzled twist on the iconic ‘I HEART NYC’ tee. 

Trains (confirmed cool again by Prada) were spotted in Barbie-pink and ultra-violet satin, complete with a bomber with cut-out armholes – for why or who – I’m none the wiser.

An interlude of well-cut shirt dresses felt like a step in a fresh direction. Although, I’d take mine without the attack of Pepto-Bismol pink paint. 

Indeed, the venue was a treat. Guests were transported up 100 floors above the city at the World Trade Center Observatory, the city at night glowing with tales of a million nights out.

And – amidst the sparkling lights – there are undoubtedly some Christian Cowan girls, painting the town pink. I just hope they’ve packed their sneakers for the walk back to the subway.