Clean whites and bursts of color are the main components of Jen Kao’s 2014 resort collection. The young designer has turned her attention to the paintings of Basquiat and Gauguin to create bold, graphic prints of reds, blues, and yellows, that aspire to change the way we see color, or as Kao puts it, “to make a yellow pop like you’ve never seen it before.”
On the flipside, a monochromatic palette that seeks to transform unadorned blacks and whites into something fresh and new, runs in parallel with the prints throughout the collection. To do so, there is an abundance of organic material experimentation that turn minimalist silhouettes and simple, modern dressing on its head: from leather cocktail dresses to vinyl and plasticized chiffon
Negotiating “power, balance, control, and spontaneity,” is how Kao described her drive for the new collection. While stripping down layers and geometry to create shapes that are utterly minimal, splashes of oranges and blues achieve bursts of spontaneity, like paint thrown onto a canvas. This juxtaposition, along with the the natural fibers of canvas and linens used again and again, “pulls it all together” providing “a raw, tribal element… while still keeping the shapes really clean,” said Kao.
The collection is rich in modern day utility; whether it’s the boxy, leather schoolboy blazer, a crisp white shirt, or lo-fi jersey, Kao is spot on.