Though Jen Kao didn’t continue on last year’s outer galaxy theme for her Spring/Summer 2012 collection (a little bit of nonsensical disappointment here!), she more than made up for it by crashing back to Earth and expressing her vision through the flora and fauna of the Hawaiian islands.
The start of the show was carefully constructed; a model stepped out onto the runway with a sweetly-hued beachfront sunrise behind her and a paper art fascinator atop her. A sun ray orb – which was projected onto her chest – quickly grew and grew into full-on ‘daylight’ to welcome you to a pastel-packed and lucidly layered collection. Don’t let the Hawaiian theme fool you, however. Kao showed off her creative flair with fine checkerboard knits, obi belts, fringe, embroidered lei flowers, capes and much more. There was an Edward Scissorhands effect to many of her garments – in the most chic way possible – and an ombré kimono trench in rip-stop fabric that exquisitely explained her Leonardo DiCaprio inspiration (Baz Luhrmann’s sunset scene in Romeo + Juliet, hello). Creative turn-on, that Jen Kao.