“I wanted something that would make people laugh at home, didn’t feel drab, but was reflecting on the times,” Christian Cowan expressed during a preview of his delightful fall collection.
Known for vibrant colors, high drama and fun-loving party fashions, the young designer is constantly looking for new ways to “level up.” Following an impressive spring collection — complete with Lil Nas X collaboration, megawatt fashions with a charitable partnership and positive message — what could be bigger, better? A runway show was out of the question and producing over-the-top, lavish garments didn’t make sense to Cowan in today’s climate.
“It felt like we needed to do the opposite. Make it major, and affordable, at the same time,” he remarked.
So Cowan created a fashion film, and it was brilliant.
“It’s really more of a comedy skit,” he remarked. Written and directed by Matthew Frost and presented by Motorola razr, the film “A Fashion Thing,” provides a light-hearted, humorous and truly enjoyable experience, with Cowan’s designs celebrated front-and-center.
“My dream is to open up a separate company that’s connected, that does film, TV and costume design, in L.A.,” Cowan disclosed. “I thought, well, let’s dip our toe in.”
Starring “Saturday Night Live’s” Chloe Fineman and Bowen Yang, the film displays the joy of dressing up through optimism, humor, glamour, individuality and attitude in an “Ode to New York City,” inside the empty walls of the iconic Pierre Hotel.
Each member of the film’s cast — including Paris Hilton, Justine Skye, Aquaria, Rachel Cargle (founder of the Loveland Foundation), Parker Kit Hill, Selyna Brillare, Mermaid, Aqua Pairos, Hanne Gaby Odiele, Jazzelle Zanaughtti (aka UglyWorldwide), Jari Jones, and Richie Shazam (with look book cameo of Dorinda Medley) — don one of Cowan’s eccentric designs. Fineberg in a two-tone plush coat, heat-pressed Swarovski crystal top and zippered miniskirt; Yang in shimmering purple pajamas, complete with hotel slippers (which the brand will be producing); Skye in a vibrant orange cutout minidress, bedazzled razr phone in hand; Kit Hill in a leather trench with Cowan’s signature watch-embellished sleeves and more.
Ranging from cutout minidresses, sparkling fluid frocks and catsuits to leather fashions and separates amped up with color and shine, Cowan kept the designs luxe without “adding another 0 to the collection.”
“Obviously social gatherings and all that jazz can’t happen, and we’re a party dress brand so what is the answer to the conundrum?” Cowan questioned. “I was asking myself, ‘How will people want to access our brand right now?’ I think it’s about going to the lower price range, which we’re really keen on doing permanently — having more garments from $400 and ending at $1,000, rather than starting at $1,000.”
Comfort, too, went hand in hand and played a bigger role in fall than any collection prior; feathers, smaller bow-accents, heat-pressed Swarovski crystals, stretch panels within leather pieces, and micro-sequin fabrics all added ease without compromising the garments’ glamour. In addition, the entire collection was produced in New York City’s Garment District with the help of women-owned, certified small businesses and will benefit the Loveland Foundation in Cowan’s now permanent fund.
The collection displayed growth from the designer, offering range with more easy-to-wear takes on his over-the-top fashions, mixing fantasy with reality in a daze of full-out fun.