Christian Cowan’s debut at Paris Fashion Week was hijacked by a giant ball of fur.
The oversize orb coated in black fuzz was one of the showstoppers of his spring collection, presented late on Thursday at the American Cathedral in Paris, but it seemed to have taken on a life of its own.
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Speaking backstage before the show, Cowan said he was “obsessed with” the look, one of a trio of spherical dresses that included a disco ball and a wedding gown, though it was a nightmare to ship.
“It hasn’t fit through any of the doors. We even got to our temporary office space, and two of the looks just could not fit in the building, so they had to be parked in the venue, like, seven days ahead of time because luckily, this space has huge doors,” he said.
Pity the poor model assigned to wear the outfit. Navigating a dimly lit runway also covered with inky fake fur, they first collided with the small podium where singer Sam Smith was in the midst of performing their cover of Dead or Alive’s “You Spin Me Round” in tribute to queer icon Pete Burns.
After being gently redirected by Smith, the creature — let’s call it The Blob — bounced off a wall of outstretched hands in the front row before finally collapsing in front of the altar. You can’t make it up.
You kind of suspect that Cowan got a kick out of the whole thing — the camp-o-meter was ringing off the charts — but it made it hard to focus on the clothes, never mind that the room was filled with artificial smoke and at this point it was 11 p.m. on the tail end of another seemingly endless day of Paris shows.
In a way, it was the perfect setting for Cowan’s razzle-dazzle party frocks, which ranged from an oversize silver-speckled tweed jacket slung over a matching bra and short-shorts, to a fur-trimmed pink bustier dress with a cute “Romy and Michele” vibe. All the looks were worn with chunky platform boots with rows of silver buckles.
But Cowan, who has dressed the likes of Lady Gaga and Lil Nas X and formed a close relationship with Smith, said he was trying to outgrow that image by relocating his show to Paris from New York.
“Paris has always been synonymous with true creativity and mastering your craft, and then businesswise, I want to signify to people the growth of our brand. You know, just a few short years ago, we were completely partywear wild dresses, and now we have a fully developed merchandising plan of amazing poplins and denims and crepes and silks, and I just think this is the room to be in to do that,” he said.
Here’s hoping there’s a resee.
Launch Gallery: Christian Cowan RTW Spring 2024
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