Imagine living in the realm of celebrity during the early 2000s: partying pays the bills, reality television and pop culture are gaining popularity, fashion merges high and low, and life is sheer entertainment. Who better to embody the era of embellished pink Razr flip phones and happiness than Paris Hilton?
Donning an oversized tiara and a gown of multi-sized silver paillettes, Paris Hilton was a maximalist on Christian Cowan’s runway. Hilton, the glamorized embodiment of a Sorayama, worked a provocative slit with the lively energy of Gen Y2K.
Cowan, a London College of Fashion grad, wanted simply to create “clothing for women to be complemented in.” It’s safe to say there won’t be just one compliment, especially as Cowan’s eponymous label continues to garner recognition from the press.
With Studio 54-esque makeup accented by jewels and George Michael’s “Freedom” booming in the venue, Cowan’s collection displayed a refreshing, lighthearted exuberance.
“I wanted to do something vibrant and fun that makes people smile, and laugh, and cheer,” Cowan told Vogue.
Opening with a tongue-in-cheek T-shirt reading “high fashion” above a glittering marijuana leaf, Cowan played on a witty concept that may rival Jeremy Scott’s popular Moschino tees. Sexual acceptance and confidence appeared to be an underlying narrative as well; the use of fishnets, miniskirts and a fascinating inverted bra challenged the norm. A mock neck, short-sleeved tunic dress glimmered like a constellation with an Alex Katz-style portrait of Caitlyn Jenner’s memorable Vanity Fair cover on the bodice.
Two white bandanas styled as a top and handkerchief made its way down the runway in support of the Business of Fashion’s #TiedTogether movement, which, according to Imran Amed, is a “statement in support of solidarity, human unity and inclusiveness amidst growing uncertainty and a dangerous narrative peddling division.”
Cowan offered his interpretation of a new party girl while remaining relevant to today’s aesthetics and social consciousness. If only the Christian Cowan currency, which fell out of the pockets of various pieces, could slide into our bank accounts.
Written by Anthony O’Baner
Photography by Arun Nevader/Getty Images