“The collection started as I was doing some spring cleaning and came across an old box of books. I was pulling out three books from my favorite artists, Lee Krasner, Frida Kahlo and Judi Regal; I was thinking about the commonalities between them, how they were overshadowed by their male counterparts. Feeling that way through creativity — it was inspired by imagining them in their studios painting. There’s a psychedelic, dripping painting feel,” New York-based designer Jonathan Cohen said of his spring collection’s standout knit dress and a shrunken cardigan with warped rainbow stripes. He continued the idea with saturated brights and signature florals with drippy or blurred painterly effects across timeless, feminine styles (like a standout bonded cotton taffeta bustier and ballgown set).
Since launching his label in 2011, Cohen has been committed to sustainable brand messaging thrugh innovative techniques — evident through spring’s floral decorations (derived from fabric scraps) atop his darling cocktail fashions, reworked striped button-downs and debut embroidered leather looks.
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“Something we’re really excited about this season is we’re working with biotech company Evolved By Nature — they’ve figured out how to do a silk finish on leather so there are no chemicals involved in treating the leather,” he said of spring’s leather trench, dresses, shirting and skirts.
Furthermore, since opening his bi-level Upper East Side boutique in May (originally intended as a pop-up that has since been extended) the designer and Sarah Leff, cofounder and chief executive officer, have taken their customer-based learnings from the shop floor to tweak existing silhouettes, offer custom designs and introduce new ideas.
“It feels as though we’re taking control of our business,” he said. Case in point, spring’s “sexier” yellow scoop neck, bodice-hugging gown, which Cohen noted “didn’t take off [with buyers], until customers loved.”
Launch Gallery: Jonathan Cohen RTW Spring 2023