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Christian Cowan is joining the roster of designers shaking up the traditional fashion presentation, unveiling a film for his Fall/Winter 2021 collection. Paused are the days of in-person show, so in its place, Cowan provides a video that gives us a look into his creative bubble. The designer—known for his theatrical pieces, inclusive messaging, and break-down-the-fourth-wall approach—is sticking to his shticks with “A Fashion Thing.”
Presented by Razr—yes, the Motorola phone—and benefitting The Loveland Foundaiton, the video opens inside the Pierre Hotel in New York City to give us a casual look into the life of someone wanting to be in a fashion…thing. Paris Hilton calls from the phone to let comedians Chloe Fineman and Bowen Yangknow they should just be themselves, and the diverse cast that follows shows them how it’s done.
Scripted, fantastical scenes directed by Matthew Frost are acted out by the playful cast, including Justine Skye, Aquaria, Parker Kit Hill, Chloe Fineman, Bowen Yang, Rachel Cargle, Selyna Brillare, Mermaid, Aqua Pairos, Hanne Gaby Odiele, @uglyworldwide, Jari Jones , and Richie Shazam, Dorinda Medley. While some appear in the film, others make their debut in the polished lookbook that followed.
Although we weren’t able to see the movement of Cowan’s fashion in real time, we still saw see the sway, the ruche, and the impact of his and glimmering fabrics from the screen.
To celebrate his collection and accompanying film, Whitewall spoke with Cowan about connecting with his customer—a woman who wants to be comfortable and complimented—through his crystalized Razr phone.
WHITEWALL: Why was your Fall/Winter 2021 collection rooted in a film directed by Matthew Frost?
CHRISTIAN COWAN: Since shows aren’t possible, I think it’s an amazing opportunity to push ourselves as designers and find new ways to release content. This scripted comedic piece was so much fun.
WW: What do subjects in your video collectively portray?
CC: The film casting is portraying the amazing melting pot of people that is NYC—from the clubs to the country clubs.
WW: How does the film evoke, as you said, "connectedness and optimism through technology, fantasy, and festivity"?
CC: We all want to have a fun time, but we can’t do it together. So, this film is poking fun at how we can all be optimistic to the future and stay connected in the meantime—through your fabulous crystalized Razr.
WW: How has the pandemic impacted the way you’re viewing your customer?
CC: It’s made us think about what our customer wants right now. They want comfortable dresses which make them happy and don’t break the bank. So that’s what we’re giving them!
WW: What’s keeping you creatively inspired, while the pandemic and winter continues?
CC: I’m staying connected with the people that I love. While pushing myself to try new things.
WW: Who is the Christian Cowan woman?
CC: They are the woman who wants to be complimented, who also wants to be comfortable, but look fabulous while doing so.
WW: Where do you perceive the future of fashion will be post-COVID?
CC: The roaring ‘20s!