Christian Cowan made a splashy debut at New York Fashion Week. It couldn’t have been anything less by virtue of his aesthetic — Barbie hits the club hard with her fabulous drag queen friends. But the spectacle was enhanced by the fact that an improbable number of top-tier editors were there (courtesy of Mickey Boardman spreading the word) to witness Cowan take the plunge. Oh, and Paris Hilton walked the show. Not bad for the first-ever fashion week show and ready-to-wear collection by a very recent London College of Fashion graduate.

Cowan turned some heads with his one-off custom work for Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus, but with fall 2017, he’s attempted to tip-toe off the stage and into reality. He got as far as the after party. “I’ve maintained some of those high editorial looks, but I’m starting to show clothes that a real woman can wear,” Cowan said backstage. “I always say the clothes are what a woman would wear when she wants to be complimented, like everyone can’t help but say something.”

Yes, a glittery shift dress emblazoned with Caitlyn Jenner’s face on the front and the word “Free” ranked as a conversation starter. People will talk if you show up in Cowan’s fishnet body-stocking made every so slightly discreet by tiny cascades of flowers placed here and there. There were some cropped tops and T-shirts stamped with a marijuana leaf and the words “High Fashion,” jeans trimmed with exaggerated ruffles and cropped jackets that girls who wanna have fun can wear on the party circuit, though Cowan’s clothes aren’t “real” in a real sense, or a Jeremy Scott sense, yet. But so what? There’s an appetite for feel-good fashion and Cowan was serving meals. “Yes!, Paris! Work b—h!,” called someone from the second row at the sight of Hilton strutting in a tiara and silver gown strung with saucer-sized silver paillettes to close the show.

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