The skin-baring trend has been hot this season, but it’s nothing new for emerging designer Kim Shui, who amped up her latest collection through cheeky riffs on Americana references with her signature East-meets-West ethos.
The look: Sexy, rhinestone cowgirl meets early Aughts with an Eastern twist.
Quote of note: “I usually combine this whole East meets West idea. I think in fashion, there’s a history of Western designers kind of fetishizing Eastern perspectives, so I thought it’d be interesting to tip that on its head in a funny, playful way with what I think are obviously American, Western things: the Wild West, or Hollywood red carpet gowns, Y2K, glitter,” the designer said following her runway show, adding that spring was her first season incorporating hand-embellishments.
Key pieces: Classic chinoiserie toile jacquards rendered into chaps atop simple bodysuits with crystal Kim Shui logos, reminiscent of the early Aughts Baby Phat or Bebe styles; leather, suede and snakeskin miniskirts, hot shorts and pants with Western yolk details; rose-printed cropped tops (a scarf halter style with leather mini), and gem-embellished, soft body-hugging dresses, which also came in her signature warped, colorful style. Azealia Banks closed the show in her take of a red carpet gown: an all pink, fluid number with little waist corset. Cowgirl hats and ornate, dragon embroidered knee-high leather cowboy boots completed the looks.
The takeaway: Unfortunately, Shui’s show started an hour and 15 minutes late, which was possibly the season’s longest, most unnecessary delay. However, her spring collection showed a lot of growth while offering consistent, fun fashions with ample sex appeal.