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Public School designers exploring 'lighter touch'

Public School designers exploring 'lighter touch'

The designers behind label Public School are focused on imbuing their line with a sense of lightness, while experimenting with contrasting fabrics and colours.

The brainchild of New York-born and bred designers, Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne, Public School was launched in 2008 and the duo quickly went on to win two fashion prizes for their streetwear-infused menswear. Following their early success, the pair was tapped to take over as creative directors of DKNY in an effort to re-brand the iconic label, and released their first collection for the brand at New York Fashion Week last September (15).

Meanwhile, the designers are still focused on Public School and have spoken about their latest sharply tailored sportswear collection, which now features designs for both men and women.

Talking with Allure magazine, Chow and Osborne said they are focused on infusing their designs with a sense of "authenticity" through updating classic silhouettes by mixing high and low references from high and art into their work. Of a cable knit dress in the Public School line, the designers were looking try a different look.

"This is something that we normally don't do because it's a little closer to the body, but for spring we were exploring a lighter touch," the fashion stars shared.

And of the hero piece in the line, a women's oversized white bomber jacket with delicate feather-like silver beading on the shoulders, they were inspired to experiment with "the idea of contrast".

A black cap with the letters WNL embroidered on the front is also a standout item, as it has a special meaning.

"WNL stands for We Need Leaders; it stands for When Nobody's looking; it stands for Winners Never Lose," Chow and Osbourne explained.

Elsewhere, the designers find inspiration in nature, particularly "powerful but very delicate" orchids and also the work of Brooklyn-based artist KAWS, who is known for his often subversive acrylic paintings and sculptures.

"KAWS takes street art to the next level. He's one of the voices of our generation," they concluded.

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