Nabbing Swarovksi's Perry Ellis Emerging Talent award and one of the ten finalist spots from the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund in a span of three months is no mean achievement. Even more impressive is the fact that Doo-Ri Chung refused to play it safe today. She could have simply repeated the things that brought her to this point, but instead she dramatically narrowed the silhouettes of her earlier forays into daywear, showing sexy leggings with snug, fitted jackets or zip-front short-sleeve blouses. And she exercised restraint with embellishments, embroidering the neckline of a white sheer-jersey top with subtle black metal rather than obvious crystals.
For eveningwear, she went beyond her signature draped jerseys, adding a print for the first time and cutting it for a cocktail dress and a gown. Stark and graphic, it had a winning simplicity. (By contrast, a chiffon dress with ruffled shoulders and a harness of satin paillettes looked quite wrong here.) Toward the end of the collection, Chung even relaxed enough to show off a hidden wit. Among the 28 looks, which came out too slowly for her end-of-fashion-week audience, was a black cotton halter with a white bib and an artfully askew bow, which she paired with gabardine pants that had a beaded white waistband. The effect? Instant black tie.