There have been endless political references in the collections this season, but Public School really takes the cake. Red baseball caps mimicking the Trump campaign’s propaganda paraphernalia read “Make America New York.” Those will be flying off the shelves. Indeed, it’s New York’s endless mix of culture, ethnicities, the haves and the have-nots, that make it such a perennial inspiration for designers all over the world. And there are few brands as New York-centric as Public School—something Donna Karan realized when handing over the reigns to DKNY. But now that the designers are focusing full-time on their own collection, they amped it up. There was deconstructed and oversize suiting. There was a nod to streetwear and American icons like Michael Jordan. And there was the most delicious warm puffer vest for braving the winter vortex and any other battles that must be fought on the streets.
Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osbourne also looked beyond their New York roots to broader American themes like quilting, denim, plaid, and corduroy. Good ‘ol American staples. The message? Bridge the gap.