Viable Garments. Commission AW22

Commission, the New York-based label, is about garments, not gimmicks. For autumn-winter 2022 season, Dylan Cao, Jin Kay, and Huy Luong were thinking about non-American perspectives on America (all three designers were born and raised in Asia) and classic American fashion. Jeans, leather pants, Western belt buckles, and star-patched tees are the most obvious elements of Americana here. Look deeper than the hand-distressed unisex leather jacket, and you’ll find lush “cloud knits,” sporty tracksuits with blouson tops, trad office shirting with underbreast cut-outs, and a brown wool skirt suit with a schoolgirl vest inset into the blazer. A slash motif, which could read as a little try-hard, worked mostly well, exposing an ab, a clavicle, or a sliver of forearm. “It’s about an eclectic combo,” summed up Cao. Evocative layering made the brand’s separates look even more viable – especially in an asymmetric dress over pants look. The moment the designers posted a lookbook image it was swiftly consumed by social media, followers chiming in with “Aaaaaaaah!” and cascades of flame emojis. Sometimes, simple and straightforward clothes do the ultimate work.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

NET-A-PORTER Limited

The 90s Chic. Commission AW20

Commission is a New York-based label co-founded by Huy Luong, Dylan Cao and Jin Kay. Since their debut, the designers are set out to redefine their Asian heritage using Western style codes. Their fourth season continues to be a modern reinterpretation of what their mothers wore to work at the end of 20th century, this time however the style is more refined and after-dark chic. Business-ready tailoring, leather pencil skirts, turtleneck dresses and soft retro prints – the Commission look is taken out straight from 1990’s Vogue Italia. As Cao told Paper, “we’re first-generation immigrants to the US. So around the time that we started there was this conversation we wanted to have, about Asian, especially East Asian, culture and representation in the visual world, and especially in the fashion industry. And for a long time we found it really limiting, and really literal.” When looking at family photos, all three designers realized that their mothers styled themselves in a similar manner to go to work, dressing with the same “visual code,” as Cao put it. “The ’80s and ’90s, that’s sort of a period when not a lot of people talk about Asia, because there’s less to romanticize” he continued. “By then there were a lot of Western influences in the way people dressed in Asia. Growing up we’d see our parents go to work and tweak the Western-style codes in their own way. And just looking at our moms and the way they dressed – the big suits, the shoulder pads, the pants – but adding their own personal flares to the way they styled the clothes, that’s what kind of connected us.” If you still haven’t done that, make sure to follow Commission’s steps, as the brand is getting better and better with every season!

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.