The show at Self Portrait made for a beautiful start to Saturday morning – Day 3 of New York Fashion Week. Creative Director Han Chong opted to present the collection at three separate shows in a glowing gallery space near the Meatpacking district in Chelsea. I attended the first showing and was happy I arrived early, as open seating put me in the front row next to the inimitable Eva Chen. The scene was casual but industrial, and the runway was hung with giant paper lanterns.
Chong’s signature guipure dresses were not to be missed, but he is also expanding into new territory with casual cargo skirts with daring slits and military jumpers with just a touch of feminine flare. We saw lots of asymmetrical separates; one-shoulder frilled blouses looked particularly crisp and lacy panels kept things interesting. But if there was a theme to this collection, it would have to be buttons: they crept up the sides of almost every piece, dancing across the collarbones of blouses and down the sleeves – some opened for a cut-out effect.
For me, the real show-stoppers were a pair of one-shouldered dresses with eyelet details, which were feminine, a bit risqué, and very rock n’ roll paired with buckled ankle boots. Wonderful to see this designer loosening the buttons on his formal wear and opening up new possibilities.