The much-publicized breakup of As Four has launched a flurry of rumors and speculation about who was the driving force and talent behind the intriguing line. A large downtown crowd gathered for the debut of Myself, by As Four defector Kai Kühne, searching for answers (and scoop) in the 37-piece collection.
Anyone familiar with the theatrical designer's personal style could recognize his own wardrobe favorites throughout, particularly in the equestrian and menswear-inspired pieces. Nostalgic references to Kühne's previous job were fewa pair of bubble shorts, some diaper drapes, jodhpursand mostly fell flat. The strongest pieces in this first outing were the shirtdresses and coats. A silk tuxedo shirtdress worn by Bianca Klamt was elegant enough for a latter-day Holly Golightly. Another version in tucked white cotton was experimental but still wearable. Each trenchcoat in the collection, and there were a few, had distinct details; one with oversize buttoned belt loops merits particular mention. A white coat with cocoon sleeves was a stunner.
For the most part, Kühne's looser garments out-matched his tailoring. Some sporty skirts and a pair of evergreen textured silk shorts were among the more viable takes on jaunty separates, but an off-the-shoulder sea-print silk blouse was a more singular statement. Three Empire-waist gowns, one with a feathered bodice and muslin body, closed the show on a high note. If the collection, overall, was a mix of hits and misses, it was a personal one, in more than name alone. With it, he proved that one doesn't have to be the loneliest number after all.