Paris Hilton & Caitlyn Jenner at Christian Cowan's Glittery NYFW Debut
By Justin Moran
Christian Cowan Fall '17 (MORE+ For Review)
Rising designer Christian Cowan was given rough weather yesterday for his NYFW debut, as all of New York was completely encased in an unforgiving blizzard. Regardless, the queer London College of Fashion grad managed to uplift everyone’s glum moods with his campy over-the-top collection, where editing down wasn’t as important as adding more (and more). Infused with celebratory references to pop culture, Cowan’s breakout revived the gay glory of early 2000’s Heatherette—a sugary treat in a time when everything feels so dreadfully serious.
And what better way to stoke the flaming fire once fostered by Heatherette’s Richie Rich and Traver Rains than to cast Princess of Pop Paris Hilton for your runway? The “Stars Are Blind” icon stepped out (to audible gasps) in a pastel pink set, complete with generous underboob and oversized, blinding silver stars. Her cameo, though rare for most young designers, wasn’t surprising for Cowan, who’s already dressed names like Miley Cyrus, Charli XCX, Tove Lo, Ciara, Halsey and Lady Gaga. (He notably created LG’s black leather bodysuit LG in “John Wayne.”)
Beyond Ms. Hilton, who stepped out for the finale wearing a silver gown and tiara, Cowan’s collection notably starred Caitlyn Jenner, whose Vanity Fair portrait was glitter-bombed on a minidress with the word, “FREE,” printed across the back in all caps. The message, though ambiguous, seemed to empower Jenner's own gender revolution, echoed by George Michael's "Freedom," which played during the final walk. Cowan's fishnet body-stockings, tees emblazoned with the words "High Fashion" and dramatically ruffled pants won't make any appearances on the street, but the lineup certainly strengthened his reputation as a pop star golden child and fashion stylist's wet dream.