The Thread was moved on up to the, ahem, front row for Jen Kao's sublime Spring/Summer 2010 collection, therefore getting a perfect view of body-conscious silhouettes in Kao's signature sheers and swaths of deliciously draped jersey, not to mention the piece de resistance: a made-to-order drop-waist chain mail gown glittering with geometric goodness.
One couldn't help but marvel at the contrasts within each piece Jen Kao sent down the runway - at first, it's flowy but then, no, it's geometric. Sexy, but subdued! Gentle (sheer dusty pink) gives way to tough (hello, chain mail!). And yet, there's a unity: "it's not one girl wearing one thing and another girl wearing another, it's more like one day this, one day that- it's all very connected," explained Kao, during our post-show chat backstage. Kao's color palette remained consistently muted, ebbing and flowing in shades of chalky green, our favorite palest pink, white and gray. What the designer managed to impact wtihin that spectrum was nothing less than bold.
Kao (who, we should say, is totally adorable) gave us the skinny on what drove her with her latest work. "My inspiration was mainly the artist's control of time, space and atmosphere and the contrast between things that are very free and candid and raw and things that are very precise, meticulous and structured." As opposed to past seasons, Kao went for a more airy, feminine aesthetic this time around, again presenting her dual nature, dubbing it "intellectual sexy - showing off the body but not showing too much, draping in ways that flatter the figure."
The ten-year NYC veteran likes to kick it around the city in characteristic cool. Among Kao's staples: layers upon layers of her favorite sheers, wild jewelry and very high heels or men's sneakers. A perfect blend.