Are you ready for something new? Actually, Cushnie Et Ochs isn’t all that new, they’ve been around since 2008, won the 2009 Ecco Domani, were finalist for the 2011 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund and were nominated for the 2013 CFDA Swarovski Award. Their clothes are carried in over 100 stores, are produced domestically, and for those who find it important, are designed by women: Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs. We’ve not reviewed them in the past, though, so they’re new to our list. My feeling is that they’ve proven to be consistent and creative enough to be worth the time, even on a day when I’d rather be taking a nap.
One of the first things you need to know about Cushnie Et Ochs is that they do dresses. Only dresses. Very nice, well-contoured, femininely shaped dresses. I once saw an article claiming the girls actually pinned samples to each other rather than a dressing mannequin. I’ve no idea how apocryphal that story might be, but it does reflect the duo’s commitment to creating dresses that women can find flattering and supportive. As a result, what we find is a collection of dresses that covers an array of occasions, mostly after 5, but every once in a while they slip one in for the office, and there are always selections for those who find themselves on a red carpet of one kind or another.
This season is no different in that regard. The color palette starts with a very dominating and formal black, and moves from there to include a deep purple and a giggling champagne before giving in to winter white then closing with a bright red. Fabric choices include, but are not limited to, crushed velvet, lace, leather, silk, satin, wool, and cotton. The only weakness I observed was that, just maybe, the Louboutin’s chosen to go with the collection were a little too high for comfortable walking. Several models were wobbling as they walked and one finally had to step out of her heels and finish the walk barefoot.
Fitted silhouettes are daring in different places. Some have bare shoulders, some have creative cutouts, some have sheer panels, some have leather panels, and some have plunging necklines. Hemlines vary both in length and style and there are a couple of black skirts that looked as though they might be a bit restrictive, but nothing that is impossible to navigate.
For all the sexiness and sensuality built into these dresses, nothing is inappropriate. You’re not going to have to worry about finding a matching camisole to wear under a piece that’s too sheer, or a skirt too short to allow for comfortable sitting.
Obviously, not everyone has occasions for which these dresses would be necessary. Those who sit at home on the couch every evening probably needn’t bother. If you have a life, though, these are the dresses that can make an evening exciting. And if you don’t have a life, perhaps these dresses might encourage one to venture out and create some excitement for themselves. Either way, explore Cushnie Et Ochs and see what works for you.