Ken Kaufman and Isaac Franco have moved into a light-and-airy showroom space in West Chelsea. What better way to showcase it, they thought, than with a Resort collection all done in optic black and white? “We wanted it to be arresting when people walked in,” Kaufman said at an appointment.
To be sure, these clothes were impossible to ignore. Inspired partly by the real Gray’s Anatomy—you know, the book about the human body—the designers pieced together uniquely textured fabrics, from houndstooth woven with metallic cellophane to scuba neoprene, to build dresses and separates that showed off the wearer’s form. A leather-front sport coat, for instance, was lightened up with a sheer mesh back, while a white square-neck halter gown was trimmed in black leather. To further define the body, Kaufman and Franco cut out shoulders and articulated elbows on jackets. Sometimes, the effort felt a bit heavy-handed; mixed media can veer into busy territory very quickly. But there were other things for the duo’s customer to love—especially the A-line, cross-front gowns, which felt easy but not lazy.