June 09, 2014 New York
Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne launched the womenswear counterpart to their much-lauded men's label only last season, and the designers introduced their Resort collection by saying they were still in the process of figuring out the Public School girl. It was an unnecessary show of humility, as it turned out, because Chow and Osborne seem to be on pretty intimate terms with her already. Previously, they'd described her as the tomboyish counterpart to the Public School guy, sharing his affection for sport-influenced streetwear that's both unfussy and immaculately finessed. And that's exactly the customer who was conjured up by pieces like a bomber jacket in soft, mottled French terry and a T-shirt dress in graphic mesh. The designers' expertise in shirting also shone through here, demonstrated not only in button-downs, but in the crisp cotton poplin minidress with sheer panels and a tab collar. The sheerness was part of a theme of "revealing," which was also present in cutout dresses and a terrific zip-away coat. Really, it would be hard to find fault with this collection: There wasn't any paradigm shifting going on, but every piece worked, and had been executed with a lot of accomplishment. Chow and Osborne also introduced some surprising materials and finishes, and that kept things fresh. It also affirmed that these designers are still challenging themselves. It will be exciting to see what happens when they really figure out the Public School girl.