“Luxury is no longer ostentatious. Contemporary luxury is now casual.” That was the take-away point from last night’s Public School pre-fall show at Dubai’s D3, as succinctly put by Cadillac’s marketing chief after the show – the company responsible for decamping the design house from Brooklyn to somewhere off the Sheikh Zayed Road – if only for one night.
The Public School NYC show in Dubai marked their first ever destination show, which was made possible by a collaboration on Cadillac’s new XT5, unveiled on the runway and suitably glossy yet pared-back.
The clothes, the crowd, the set… they all made a very good case for less being more; something that we DXBers seem to be slowly embracing. Gone are the days when only the conspicuous ensemble was deemed worthy of a spin – now, a gradual move towards the simple, the sporty and the undone has taken hold. Not taken over, mind, but definitely there; the cool rebel gang that’s threatening to scandalise the status quo using Stan Smiths.
Last night, during Public School’s pre-fall show at Dubai Design District, felt like a bit of a seminal moment – for the movement above but also in terms of global recognition and credibility for the region. Bolstered by a crew flown in from NYC, the crowd was cool in an utterly refreshing way; an army of high-top wearers, rocking snap-backs with suits and swathes of oversized black. Hipster street styler Nick Wooster, mega-blogger Hannah Bronfman, ex-Elle and Maxim Editor Kate Lanphear and Refinery 29’s Connie Wang were all guests, all representing designers Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne’s aesthetic to a tee – the streetwise, insouciant swagger that they’ve captured from their native New York and sent out on the catwalk for the past five seasons – and now also channeling into their new roles as creative directors at DKNY.
Pre-fall 2016 was no exception, offering both men’s and womenswear that was often interchangeable and anchored very much in urban sportswear. Multiple layers, peekaboo mesh panels and a murky, no-nonsense palette of navy, grey, black and white was the result, with looks reminiscent of neo-nomads, each ready to take on the city. Is that city Dubai? By the crowd’s reaction last night, it may well be.
Take a look at the full collection below: