First of all, when Instagram sneak previews of the collection show bondage style with a hint of straightjacket, you know a very specific aesthetic is in store.
Karlie Kloss, as she does, embodied the collection fully. She doesn’t just walk; she stalks, which she did with a sexy, mischievous smile, showing off her jaguar-like moves in a stunning white show opener with a cinched waist and cutouts on the side. “Copy Cat” by Skream played as the models walked. I suggest pressing play on the song while scrolling through photos from the show, if only for the beat and Kelis’ raspy vocals.
Many of the showpieces were strappy, but Cushnie et Ochs showed strappy in a new way with what was essentially a backward halter that clung to the model’s throat, from the front looking like a choker necklace. They implied restraints, if only that in imagining wearing them, we can feel the slightly uncomfortable pressure.
The nails, filed into a stiletto shape, i.e. pointy and sharp, were painted two layered shades of China Glaze white and finished with a sterling nail ring, meant to evoke a brass knuckle. The aggressiveness played nicely against a collection suggesting a mental institution (the straightjacket straps!).
photo via @drewpho
Of the black, white, purple, and grey collection, two dresses in white with black scribbles – faces, flowers – stood out. It became easy to imagine the supremely sexy girl, interrupted, whiling her time by doodling on the walls.
photo via @cushnieetochs
As I read it, for spring 2014 the Cushnie et Ochs woman is a patient in an asylum who’s decided to check out. She’ll seduce her guard by making dresses of the props she has available, slick her hair into a too-perfect ponytail, and arm herself with the right manicure to break free. The C et O woman is the opposite of another who has her life together but can’t find the time for her hair.
As always, the Cushnie et Ochs woman is confident – she’d have to be with all those cutouts – and sexy, if this season also slightly deranged.