September 07, 2011 New York
The description of the clothes suggested volume—a puffer vest, a six-pleated pant—but there was only somber elongation. The puffer was deflated. The melancholic reason for this was in the show's dedication "to Diane." Cox's mother died three weeks ago after a long illness, and the shadow of her passing made this a very difficult collection for Cox and his partner, Daniel Silver. That undoubtedly explained its subdued quality, and also the sense of escape into a past that was easier to cope with than the painful present. But at the same time, the elegiac mood loaned the collection a persuasive narrative drive, from that prosaic nylon opening passage to a finale of rose-printed organzas and silks. The same silhouettes connected the two—parka, bomber, sporty short shorts—but there was a clear shift in sensibility toward, in the end, emotion and beauty. If you ever wanted proof of a designer using what he does as balm for a bruised soul, here it was.