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July 30 2014

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Designer Diary: Jen Kao’s Postcard From The London Olympics

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Though her September fashion week show in New York is just around the corner, designer Jen Kao (pictured, above) set some time aside to jet to London with her family for the Games. In between tennis matches, gymnastic finals, and a trip to the countryside to take in some of England’s most iconic sights (including the set location for Downtown Abbey, Highclere), Kao documented her trip and shared it with Style.com. Here, Kao’s dispatch from London town.

If it sounds insane that I raced to the Olympics four weeks out from my Spring 2013 show, it’s because it is. But there are few things I find as awe-inspiring as this rare, positive global human spirit and phenomenal performance of athleticism. Day one was full-on tennis at Wimbledon. Tennis is a personal favorite, having played on my high school team (I admittedly had a moment of nostalgia for my first un-pleated jersey tennis skirt). The next morning, I subconsciously dressed to support Team U.S.A. Gymnastics, à la Comme des Garçons x Matt Groening. At North Greenwich Arena, I cheered for the phenomenal McKayla Maroney in the women’s vault finals. In between various games, I spent a little time running around Regent Street and Piccadilly with my mother. We had some fun snapping shots of the fantastic Yayoi Kusama x Louis Vuitton boutique window displays and I managed a little run-by shopping at Dover Street Market—so much Comme, so little time. We also took a break from the Olympics one day and headed to the countryside to check out landmark stops like Windsor Castle, Highclere (the set location for Downtown Abbey and the home of the late great Earl of Carnarvon, who discovered King Tutankhamun’s tomb and was allegedly killed by the Curse of King Tut), Stonehenge, Bath, and Oxford. Though this diary ends here, my fanfare at the Games will continue for a few more days. Go Team U.S.A.!


At Wimbledon to support the sister duo Venus and Serena Williams.


Watching the gymnastics finals at North Greenwich Arena.


Kao in front of the Yayoi Kusuma x Louis Vuitton window display.


The designer and her family took a break from the Games for the day and headed to the countryside.

Photos: Jen Kao

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