December 12, 2017
Koche’s 2018 Pre-Fall presentation was held at the Strand Bookstore in Union Square for reasons we still don’t quite understand, but also won’t complain about. As it turns out, Strand is a NYC favorite of designer Christelle Kocher, a frequent pit-stop whenever she’s in town. However, if the goal was to be a love letter to NYC, there are more locations that might have been more apt and quite a few customers still in the venue weren’t quite sure what was going on when a bunch of stylish cool kids started parading around the 3rd Floor Book Room. Just goes to show how much the young designer loves this location, her first presentation within the American market, but also the bibliophile presents in similar venues back home in France.
Once over the shock factor though, Koche was a streetwear marvel, a brand more in the vein of Off White or Pigale and definitely within the realm of high end streetwear. Earlier this year, Kocher, along a big futbol fan, launched a collaboration with Paris Saint-German, combining the essence of Koche with the team in a very pop-culture-esque interpretation of the team’s jerseys. This has manifested into a number of interesting show worthy pieces, from jersey dresses, slouchy sweatpants and loose track jackets that any in the club would be proud to sport. Kocher’s hip aesthetic bellies a couture background, elements and details of the fabrication that can only be appreciated with the trained eye. That aside, the collection has a decidedly American aesthetic that would feel right at home next to aisles of Jeremy Scott and Kith.
A homage to her home away from home was also evident, with elements of New York, literally and figuratively draped all throughout her collection. Kocher definitely seems to be placing more emphasis on menswear, particularly now than in the past. Moreover, the garments aren’t intrinsically androgynous as so many streetwear labels seem to be, nor are they challenging long held gender norms. But that doesn’t make the collection any less beautiful. Given time, Koche will continue its ascent towards being a household streetwear label, possibly even in the same rarified air as Hood by Air or the same commercial realm as Supreme or Nike.
For Kocher, that all starts with interpretation. Following the presentation, she mentioned humor as a part of American design. Whether this is the reason for the outlandish combination of giant logos, vibrant animal prints, subtle textures and couture beading and feathers or just an inside joke from France to America, we may never know. All we can hope for is a little more from a designer we definitely want to see a lot more of.
Fashion Feed created a pretty good video of the Koche Pre-Fall 2018 presentation, worth checking out.
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