Growing up, Jonathan Cohen would spend much of his childhood going to the “Mercado de Artesanías” in Mexico City with his family, the local markets that sold artisanal rugs, blankets and beautiful floral vases, served home-made culinary dishes and played music that was authentic to his heritage. It was a place, and a time in his life, that formed the starting point for his latest collection – his upbringing. For Fall/Winter 2019, Cohen looked towards the pillars that helped to shape and inform his sense of creativity – and pushed it forward.
“I began to think of my past. I grew up in San Diego, my family is from Mexico City and I’m now a New Yorker so the colors of my childhood really started to shape the direction this collection took” he says. “When I think back to where it all began, where my love of textures and colors come from, mentally I keep going back to those markets”.
Having recently returned from a trip to Mexico City, the designer brought back over a dozen Mexican blankets from that very market. From there, he deconstructed the materials, textiles, and colors, which provided a starting point for how the collection should take shape.
Anchoring the designs is a floral quilt print derived from cutting the blankets into a series of flowers – a multi-color hexagonal shape – subverting a key brand theme and making it new. Inspired by his twist on the classic American Quilt, the many shapes and colors that create the design are emblematic of his cultural amalgamation. In addition, a deconstructed stripe motif appears in both a print and embroidery whereby various pieces of fabric were cut into linear strips and then applied to the garment with crystal embellishments. The embroidered translation is brought to life by over 22 different Swarovski crystals. This notion of eclectic deconstruction is parlayed across all product categories.
Furthering the development of the Slash Skirt, a collection staple, the Fall/Winter range debuts the Knotted Pocket Square Dress, a new style for the season featuring cut squares of various fabrics and prints and tied together with a knotted closure. This notion of knotted details can be found across the board – from evening gowns to knits. The color palette plays an integral role this season, as always, with strong yellows and pinks and blues that give the feeling of these markets and how they all come together.
An evolution of the footwear partnership with Alexandre Birman, the two have crafted four unique styles: a kitten heel boot, a knee-high boot, a classic army boot, and the brands signature Clarita heel. From classic Jonathan Cohen floral scarfs to the assimilation of the quilting technique seen throughout the collection, this signifies a progression for the brand into a series of previously unexplored categories. The headpieces that will accompany the models during Jonathan Cohen’s debut fashion show were designed by milliner Gigi Burris in striking metal materials and Swarovski crystals.