New York, February 9, 2018
Reviewed by Laird Borrelli-Persson, Featured on VOGUE RUNWAY
Snow Xue Gao, who was short-listed for the LVMH Prize in 2018, is in the very early days of her career, but it’s still possible to pick out a red thread in the designer’s work thus far, and that’s duality. Born in China and raised there and in New York, where she’s now based, Gao is always navigating two cultures. She’s abstracted that mode of being into her work both conceptually and structurally.
This season, the play of masculine against feminine came through most strongly. The designer explained that she had been looking back to the Space Age 1960s, as well as to the snazzy dressing and independent Teddy Boys and Girls. Cacophonous prints that referenced both Pop and Abstract Expressionist art were often spliced together. We’ve seen a lot of half-and-half dressing of late, so Gao’s half-check, half-silk pieces that balanced structure and flou felt much less fresh than the Teddy-inspired looks, which were compelling because they showcased the designer’s considerable tailoring skills. Sharply cut pants and shorts with print at the hem were smart, and were a fun twist on the street style trend of wearing a short skirt over a long shirt. Intriguing, too, were Gao’s explorations of deconstructed tailoring; it would be interesting to see her push this idea further.