People love Christian Cowan. At least, we're pretty sure that's what that standing ovation at his spring 2019 show meant. Celebrities love him, too (see: Beyoncé, Cardi B, Nicki Minaj, Lady Gaga, and more). But it's not just because he's got good taste in sequins, PVC, or leather (which, even if you're a jeans and a T-shirt kind of person, is unavoidable sometimes). His designs are an escape yet, somehow — perhaps due to his millennial status — they're also relevant to what's going on in real life, too. For his latest offering, all of his signature glamour was definitely present — but something stood out amongst the sea of sequins.
Out walked model Duckie Thot in a pinstriped suit that signaled a strong collection was about to unfold. But come time for her second turn on the runway, she'd be sporting something very different: a gigantic beach hat, chopped into a top and skirt, and nothing else. The audience erupted in laughter because, one could assume, they knew exactly what was going on. For spring 2018, French designer Jacquemus took over Instagram with an ubiquitous accessory called La Bomba; it went down in history as one of the biggest — and most dramatic — hats ever made. After being called out by Diet Prada to have claimed that Bella Hadid's version was made by himself, though it was made by someone else (Olmos & Flores), the hat took on new form. Was this a display of Cowan's cheeky, British humor? Without question (and it was a collaboration with milliner Eugenia Kim, to boot). But it was also a creative way to get buzz going and remind the fashion crowd that things don't always have to be so serious.
In addition to look 21, Cowan showed steady growth as a designer and current CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalist. He built upon his popular pieces from last season — this time the focal point of a shoe collaboration with Giuseppe Zanotti, add a few dresses — and debuted denim. He tempered the loudness of the aforementioned standout items with a finale that included soft lavender feathers sewn to minimal, '90s-type wardrobe classics. Talk about range.