By scheduling their show for 9:30 p.m. on the last day of New York Fashion Week, were As Four trying to make a point about their outsider status? Either way, the Gotham Hall event drew a bevy of indie-alternative luminaries, from Vincent Gallo and Lisa Marie to nightlife legends Kenny Kenny and Suzanne Bartsch (complete with family). Backstage, Kai Kühne described the theme of the collection as "a full circle: perfection from beginning to end." Accordingly, the models walked in rings around the curved interior of the space (which meant good views for the large, enthusiastic crowd).
The quartet introduced fur this season for the first time, in the shape of an "octopus" cape of curled pelts of lilac fox, an "emperor" coat of mink, and hoods on pieces like a pink corduroy and satin coat. Hoodies and zipped windbreaker-style jackets were more down-to-earth (relatively speaking). In keeping with the week's trends, the curved-seam pants, full at the back this season, took on the aspect of jodhpurs. Other standouts were a crazy coat-dress in patchwork Lurex (desperate housewives, indeed) and a school of evening dresses that worked an aquatic motif, trimmed with ruffled bands of pleats that floated like magical pieces of seaweed or jellyfish tentacles.
If the quartet's spring outing felt like two steps forward, this onedespite the beauty and imagination on displayrepresented one step back. Some strong individual pieces aside, it felt like a rehashing of territory from two or three seasons ago. And the group's failure to take a bow fueled ongoing speculation about a possible breakupspeculation that was confirmed three days later, when Kai announced his departure from the collective.