Jonathan Cohen has a quirky imagination, as many creative types do. For his fall lineup, he conjured up a collaboration between the subversive photographer Robert Mapplethorpe and designer Carolina Herrera, the epitome of class and elegance, envisioning what that push-pull of their ideological exchange would entail. The resulting collection was dynamic, with an overall air of youthful charm.
“I love the complexity of a woman who is rebellious in her own way, but has a sense of class and tradition,” Cohen said at a preview.
Orchid prints were Cohen’s push this season, engineered to suit both Mapplethorpe’s stark photography style and Herrera’s ever-cheerful aesthetic. A fuzzy, black-and-white warped orchid evolved from photos Cohen took with the mindset of an inebriated Mapplethorpe. They were imposed onto bias-cut dresses, little silk tops with great shoulder pads and generally easy-to-wear separates. A colorful print inspired by Herrera was found on poplin shirting and off-the-shoulder dresses. The two aesthetics culminated in a print created with the idea of Mapplethorpe ripping up Herrera’s wallpaper and piecing it back together. Florals also appeared on shoes, a first for Cohen, through a collaboration with George Esquivel.
Playfully kitsch items outside the botanical realm included a “casual” hot pink mink coat, a cashmere robe coat with hand-sewn fur patches and bust-high corseted skirts.