As an arctic chill hits NYFW, Public School demonstrates NYC winter dressing at its best – a lesson in 90s urban layering from two of the city’s native sons.
“This season was specifically about the 90s when everyone wanted to be a dancer, not a DJ,” says Dao-Yi Chow, one-half of the design duo behind Public School. “Growing up in that time, the goal was to dress up, go to the club and go dancing – it was also about style, so it became a really personal thing.” This season gave Public School the freedom to explore, reference and appropriate their own past. The collection mixed functional and formal pieces: utilitarian puffa jackets, floor-sweeping layers, sporty leather backpacks, oversized woollen scarves, knitted beanies and sports caps – winter staples all too familiar to the native city dwellers in the audience. It all focused on movement, unisex layers and New Yorkers’ stylish approach to keeping the cold out.
Empire state of mind:
In the last year, Public School has taken home almost every fashion prize or award there is, including the first International Woolmark Prize for Menswear and the CFDA Menswear Designer of the Year. Despite winning and gaining international acclaim for their work, New York remains the main inspiration and forever home for designers Chow and Maxwell Osborne. “Without New York, Public School would not exist. It drives who we are and how we approach every collection together,” says Osborne, “We love manufacturing in New York, we do everything in the garment district and we want to own it and embrace it.”