Fresh from their Swarovski and CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund wins for bestmen’s wear designer, Public School’s Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osbornerode their momentum into the women’s arena for the first time thisseason. They combined both collections into one runway show — also afirst after several seasons of presentation formats.

The crux ofthe men’s lineup, which looked more grown-up and sophisticated than inthe past, was about “turning old men’s wear patterns on their head,”said Chow. A clear example: a tweed biker jacket with leather sleeveinserts paired with wool tuxedo pants with faille side inserts.

Withthe line’s signature street references still evident, the designersalso incorporated strong tailored elements with modern three-piece suitsin all-over tweed and a bonded navy wool look with an elongated vestand matching pants. The latter encapsulated the designers’ layeringtechniques and a slight monastic sensibility.

Adapting theiraesthetic to the feminine form did not seem to be a stretch for Chow andOsborne. Dressed in lean tailoring and slouchy layers, the PublicSchool girl is the cool, androgynous fraternal twin to its guy. Thedesigners broadened the palette for her, working in deep bordeaux on anelegant cape, for example, and softened the lines with chunky knits.Thefits were spot on — especially the hip-slung shorts and pants — andthetotal look was interesting, if familiar.

No longer an up-and-coming designer brand, Public School appears to be moving into the big leagues.

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