Jonathan Cohen must have been coming off a high after being a runner-up in last year’s CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund competition. For fall, he staged his first ever runway show, sending out one celebratory look after the next, all boasting the sort of eclectic pattern play and color story that have gained him recognition. Maybe it was seeing the clothes in motion for the first time, or the fact that his theme was a personal one full of nostalgic emotion, that filled the collection with life. In any case, it’s clear that Cohen has hit his stride.
Throughout the fashion fund, Cohen had to think hard about his design sensibility and where his love of prints and color comes from, always returning to his childhood visiting family and markets in Mexico City. He brought back a mix of carpets and rugs from a recent trip there with a goal to reimagine the patterns into something new. He did that and more with his signature touch of quirky and sophisticated subversion.
He rendered various patterns into a stellar scarf-tie patchwork dress with great movement, utilizing the tie concept throughout with more subtlety, both as decorative embellishments or to hold together the seams of a simple yet standout yellow gown. A patchwork print was cut into a dress for a similar illusion, topped off by newly introduced vegan leather.
Artisanal elements elevated the range and included petals pieced together on a striped baby-doll dress and strips of 22 colors of Swarovski crystals applied by hand onto evening dresses playful and formal. There was personality in his ubiquitous slash skirt cut into varying iterations, including a flouncy mini version and a prim cotton day dress with floral embroidery.