When we got an offer to be dressed by Ken Chen for a night out, I hesitated. My tastes tend to run to “the most boring classic pieces in the entire world.” When people describe their taste as “classic, with a twist” I think my taste is like that, but without the “twist” bit. So I wasn’t sure how well I’d be able to pull off any of Ken Chen’s futuristic, frankly cooler-than-I-am pieces. Here. Here, look at some of them:
Shades of Blade Runner, right? Which is excellent because Blade Runner should be everyone’s fashion inspiration (I am still looking for an opaque coat). I suppose we could have tried to transition into this whole look with “a dress with a cut-out” but sometimes, you’re just like “fuck it. I want gold feathers. And some leather panels.”This, basically:
The shirt dress should look kind of Amish, and basically be the opposite of looking like some sort of mythic superhero. Ken Chens dresses will turn you into some sort of mythic superhero (albeit your only power will be looking good).
While I am 100% certain I could not do this look every day – perhaps the only person who can is Rooney Mara – it was spectacularly cool for an evening. The main things I learned were basically 1) feathers painted gold will not actually molt, because you are a human, not a bird and 2) if you wear gold painted feathers people will pet you like a parakeet. That is to say, really rather tentatively. Parakeets are terrified birds.
That aside, if you want to transition into something more avant garde than your standard style, and make yourself seem touchable, or if you’re actually just cool, and take risks, Ken Chen’s designs are a brilliant way to go. In addition to looking awesome, they’re incredibly comfortable, and the panels are placed in a strategically slimming fashion. And they’re still actually affordable, and won’t be for long. It’s really worth having one of these in your closet, the way it’s worth having one bandage dress, a mink track suit and a gas mask. You know. The nontraditional staples.