If there’s a mini-trend we can establish on day two of New York Fashion Week, it’s a general loosening up of silhouettes. That may seem a relatively minor change compared to the bolder, flashier statements we’ll see this month, but if even Self-Portrait’s party girls are trading their nipped-waist minidresses and bustiers for A-line midis and gowns that fall straight from the shoulder, it’s a significant adjustment.
Designer Han Chong said he wanted his dresses to feel easier, freer, and simply more comfortable; as a result, there were more “daytime” options than the going-out frocks and wedding guest dresses he’s known for. He isn’t one to sacrifice fun in the name of practicality, though. Chong’s signature lace details were subtler here, appearing as yoke details on a shirtdress or along the bottom of a poplin blouse to reveal a flash of skin. In lieu of the ’80s-ish puffed sleeves and corsets of past collections, he introduced empire-waist dresses and ruffled “going out tops” with square necklines, many of which had open backs and large bows tied at the shoulder blades.
The major gowns in clean, almost monastic proportions we’ve seen on top runways seem to have inspired Chong to make a few versions for his girls. Grace Bol’s radiant fuchsia gown wasn’t designed with fancy galas in mind, either; it would look more at home at an outdoor wedding or maybe even a party in downtown New York (with flats, not heels!). The finale gown, an orchid column in sheer lace, had a similar dress-up-or-down ease. It’s worth noting that Chong avoided prints entirely this season, save for a few striped knit dresses; right now, an unfussy dress in a single bold color feels more modern than the clashing florals and checks of last Fall. Courtesy of vogue.com
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