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Dauphinette Presents a Maximalist Feast for the 'Sartorially Starving'

Dauphinette Founder and Creative Director Olivia Cheng is a vegetarian, but as she wrote in her latest show notes, she practices it "in a ferociously carnal state of mind." (She also described herself as "equal parts whimsical and insatiable, ethereal and feral, kind-eyed and cold-blooded.") With Margaret Atwood's poem on artful ravaging and 3OH!3's 2008 song "Donttrustme" as points of inspiration, the brand's Fall 2024 collection leans into an aesthetic of excess.

Clothes are "devoured" by intense embellishment. Beetles are pinned to the bodice of a fire-red ballgown; an abundance of vintage chandelier crystals hang from an upcycled lambskin coat; a silk organza button-up shirt is stuck with (at least) 100 safety pins. A fur-collar coat is thoroughly covered in a multifarious layer of embroidered florals. Some clothes — like a black gown with a high slit and subtle spider detail at the low back — escape this maximalist fate.

Cheng didn't let up on the subversive excess when it came to accessories, including handbags (with the upcycled ones provided by resale platform The RealReal). A football is transformed into a satchel, adorned with vintage glass beads and shearling handles. There's also a volleyball purse. The label, famous for its literal interpretation of a baguette bag and other food-inspired items, also revealed a "prosciutto" shopper tote this season, using Tomtex's engineered leather sourced from mushroom waste. Forks are bent into shuttered eyewear, as if the wearer is blinded by hunger.

On runway models' hair, strings of crystals filled the space between corn rows. Chinese nail guards accentuated fingers while also protecting them. The show's first two models carried bust sculptures, for some reason. Collectively, Fall 2024 acts as a bold representation of Cheng's crafty, intuitive approach to design.

"I've found that the commercial pursuit of happiness is a rather abstinent practice. I'm a growing, sartorially starving girl, and I have to live up to my appetite," she wrote. "This collection is not about being the Happiest Brand on Earth, or about being a brand at all," she added, referencing Dauphinette's current tagline. "It's work that can be worn, but doesn't have to be. Even after desperately seeking out the technical skills and know-how to make astute ready-to-wear, my favorite thing are made on the floor of my apartment."

Her closing look embodies this rebellious attitude: a red cashmere fiber cape covered in dazzling rhinestones and lettering that reads, "Bad to the Bone." Cheng is breaking free from any expectations around her so-called "happy" brand; while these clothes may or may have been made to be worn, they're definitely made to be seen.

Keep scrolling to see every look from Dauphinette Fall 2024.

Dauphinette Fall 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Dauphinette Fall 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Dauphinette Fall 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Dauphinette Fall 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Dauphinette Fall 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Dauphinette Fall 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Dauphinette Fall 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Dauphinette Fall 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Dauphinette Fall 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Dauphinette Fall 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Dauphinette Fall 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Dauphinette Fall 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Dauphinette Fall 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Dauphinette Fall 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Dauphinette Fall 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Dauphinette Fall 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Dauphinette Fall 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Dauphinette Fall 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Dauphinette Fall 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Dauphinette Fall 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Dauphinette Fall 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Dauphinette Fall 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Dauphinette Fall 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Dauphinette Fall 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Dauphinette Fall 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Dauphinette Fall 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Dauphinette Fall 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Dauphinette Fall 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Dauphinette Fall 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Dauphinette Fall 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

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