Step into the iconic American Cathedral of Paris, where British-born, New York-based designer Christian Cowan unveiled his inaugural show in the fashion capital of France. Within the grandeur of this 19th-century church, an ethereal mist lingered as blood-red lights cast an enchanting glow on front-row guests, including the cool-girl DJ Ally Space and a diverse array of influential fashion enthusiasts. The runway, adorned in anthracite grey and luxurious faux fur, set the stage for an unforgettable spectacle.
For Spring/Summer 2024, Cowan’s muse is far from ordinary; she’s the ultimate nightlife connoisseur who effortlessly navigates the city’s exclusive hotspots. Models strutted to the pulsating beats of techno music, showcasing bold black patent combat boots paired with daring plunging V-neck mini-dresses – the epitome of late-night style.
Cowan introduced two distinct party personas for the upcoming season, seamlessly merging the downtown club scene with the world of old-money socialites. The collection featured an array of dazzling sequined dresses and cone-shaped bras adorned with crystals, ideal for making a statement at any soirée. Yet, Cowan’s creative vision extended beyond the glitz and glamor. He presented opulent long satin gowns lined with faux fur in deep black or enchanting amethyst. Oversized camellias took center stage, adorning soft pink tweed suits and transforming into halter tops or miniskirts.
Cowan had teased the prominence of fur in his Paris show, sharing teaser photos on the brand’s Instagram – from a massive fur ball against the Eiffel Tower backdrop to fur-covered baguettes. True to his teaser, faux fur emerged as the show’s centerpiece, appearing as long white coats elegantly draped over shoulders, sultry low-cut crop tops, or sleek jet-black pantsuits. It cascaded throughout the collection, lining the hems of skirts and dresses. The pièce de résistance, however, was undoubtedly the giant fur balls, serving as complete outfits from neck to thigh.
The wedding dress, a monumental ivory sphere crafted from synthetic material, featured a floating white train, while a model adorned as a disco ball echoed the same spherical shape, illuminating the runway.
Adding an unexpected twist to the show, Sam Smith, rumored to be Cowan’s partner, made a highly anticipated appearance. Draped in a luxurious inky faux fur cape and perched on a revolving platform, the multi-award-winning artist paid tribute to LGBTQIA+ icon Pete Burns, the lead singer of the 1980s pop band Dead or Alive, by performing the hit song «You Spin Me Round.» Smith’s crystal-clear voice contrasted with the remix of the backing track, creating a mesmerizing performance. As he gracefully exited the runway, a dancer followed, trailing behind him on a leash.
From party enthusiasts to furry fashion icons, it’s evident that Cowan’s penchant for theatricality remains unwavering. Amid the carmine-lit halls of the American Cathedral, we celebrate a remarkable fusion of fashion and performance art.