“I like to have something that could possibly ruin my career, or be amazing! That’s what I always say, if [there isn’t] a 50/50 chance it’s going to work or be the end of my career, then it’s not what we’re doing!” Cynthia Rowley quipped backstage after her fall runway experience. While the designer’s show started with the standard catwalk format, incognito models emerged from front row seats and stomped onto the runway, with the “check me out” attitudes and exaggerated walks of Nineties supermodels.

The idea of the unexpected found its way into Rowley’s designs as well. After finding an image of her then-four-year-old daughter, Gigi, in a sheer pink dress atop a tuxedo T-shirt and jeans, the designer decided fall should be about wearing whatever makes you happy. Rowley even replicated her daughter’s look into an adult-sized version. There were also exuberant, adventurous layers of voluminous, sheer dresses, a number of her signature floral-print and brocade-bloom offerings, color-blocked frocks, a variety of outerwear and some very fun takes on the traditional hoodie (with cut-and-zipped seams that could be worn more like capes or with puffed hood details). A few of them worked, a majority of others didn’t, but individual personality is always more the name of the game for Rowley’s collection anyway. 

WWD Critique: Cynthia Rowley’s fall collection embraced the spirit of the unexpected, a reflection of the designer’s unique approach to fashion.


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Cynthia Rowley RTW Spring 2020

Rag & Bone RTW Fall 2020

Staud RTW Fall 2020

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