Little Bit of Chaos. Commission AW23

This is Commission’s 10th collection (damn, time flies so fast!). It’s quite a milestone, and it had the New York-based designer Dylan Cao and Jin Kay in a contemplative mood. “This is really a nod to the 10 and 15 years Jin and I have been here, and how much the city has become ingrained in our creative language,” Cao explained. “Tourists, bankers, skaters, moms, dads, have always been in our design language, but before it was more about our parents and how people dressed in Asia in the past.” He added, “Now, we want to speak more of our version of that, which is like what we see now.” To that end, for autumn-winter 2023 they continue to explore sliced knitwear and elaborate on the cutaway shape of jackets and button-down shirts from last season, bringing the same idea to skirts, with an extra-wide slit cut in the front, exposing a silk jacquard “slip” underneath. That’s the distinct Commission look. The designers also cited their studio’s proximity to Times Square – and its cast of characters – as well as what their friends are wearing as inspiration. “It’s comfort and a little bit of chaos,” Cao said, which might also be a great way to sum up the Commision aesthetic. “Our friends would wear a pencil skirt with a puffer jacket to go somewhere, something very practical, but it’s meshing up all their wardrobe together,” Kay said. “I think that’s the kind of modern way of dressing.” And so they bulked up their track jackets to become puffers (a real NYC staple) and added rounded shoulders. The result is a piece that seamlessly toes the line between “basic” and “directional” – a Commission sweetspot. A proper water resistant canvas trench could be buttoned up a myriad of ways; a mid-length leather trench could also be worn as a cape. The designers’ friends also like to wear t-shirts under slip dresses, and so they combined them into one piece. Elsewhere, a skirt was constructed to look like it was falling off the hips, “exposing” the lining underneath. It was paired with a gray hoodie. The idea was also expanded into a strapless dress, with the bust taking on the details of a waistband, and the bodice turned into a corset. It certainly fit the “little bit of chaos” description – in the best possible way.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
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