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From the sidewalk, the Starrett Lehigh building on Manhattan's West side is somewhat indistinguishable from other mid-rise towers planted throughout New York City: tall industrial windows, loading docks, impersonal lobby. But the unassuming outside masks a bustling hub inside where local designers, publishers, photographers do their creative work. On Tuesday afternoon, the fashion crowd headed to the building's rooftop for COS's first see-now, buy-now runway show in the United States.
On a 15th-floor deck outfitted with nothing but benches and a mirrored runway, showgoers selfied with an unobstructed Empire State Building view before the models streamed by. The Instagram backdrop was soon complemented by a fresh drop of COS's minimalist essentials, including a collection of wool-blend capes, oversized, double-breasted suiting, and long-sleeved dresses with asymmetric ruching for fall. (Props to the cast for bundling up in late December layers on an outdoor runway in September.) Campaign star Paloma Elsesser shut down the show in a black sheath dress with contrasting panels, while guests like Emily Ratajkowski looked on. Hero pieces from Elsesser's look, and throughout the entire presentation, are available to shop now.
The clothing and the setting had this in common: They weren't overtly flashy or TikTok-bait, but they had a measured simplicity that could sometimes take your breath away. COS design director Karin Gustafsson had a different take, calling the show a celebration of the city's creative communities across music and art (and, probably, fashion).
As it turns out, fashion week is in COS's DNA. COS's inaugural collection in 2007 came with a fashion show at the Royal Academy of Art during London Fashion Week. "It is always incredible to see collections on the body and in movement, and catwalks offer that possibility," Gustafsson tells BAZAAR.com.
Runways also offer the possibility of entering new styling territory. One of Gustafsson's favorite looks included a short-sleeve shirt and coordinating skirt embellished in sequins from recycled materials, a sparkly rendition of COS's usual neutral separates. Models in everyday coats and jackets sauntered by with bucket hats pulled over their eyes (a subtler version of the incognito-mode hat seen at Fendi on Friday). A large chunk of the womenswear looks came completed with sheer black ankle socks under a strappy stiletto sandal, the party girl's kicker for otherwise subdued suiting.
These styling moments reflected COS's off-runway essence."We believe that people who wear COS share a sense of style—whether that is through the clothes they wear or other interests such as art or interiors," Gustafsson says. "Our timeless essentials allow our customers to create a capsule wardrobe they know works, but they are encouraged to express their individuality—it can also be bold, colorful, and versatile."
The COS fall 2022 collection is available now at cos.com.
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