For Los Angeles brand Co, fall 2014 is modern romance

Los Angeles Times Fashion Critic

A black sleeveless top with pleated ruffle sides, a red rose print silk georgette asymmetrical skirt, a black cape minidress and a mink baseball jacket, all priced from $625 to $5,250. Those are the dressed-up classics that will carry you through the fall season, according to Justin Kern and Stephanie Danan, Los Angeles-based designers of the label Co.

“You can own a couple of these things, and that’s all you need. You can go to work in them, go to drinks and socialize in them — and still have money in your bank account,” Danan says during a recent visit to the Co design studio in the downtown arts district, summing up the philosophy of the brand.

It sells at Barneys New York and starting in the fall, at Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus.

Launched in 2011, Co is a melding of the worlds of Hollywood and fashion. Danan, a former producer, and Kern, a screenwriter, have created four short films featuring characters in their collections, including several high-profile friends, Daft Punk’s Thomas Bangalter, actress Aubrey Plaza and artist Konstantin Kakanias among them.

Although they didn’t make a new film for fall 2014, they did bring on a new financial partner who they hope will help “take our fashion films to another place,” Danan says.

And they collaborated with photographer (and former music supervisor and nightclub impresario) Amanda Demme on a series of enchanting photos of the collection, which have a dark, painterly, chiaroscuro-like effect playing up the romantic details in the clothing. It was Demme’s first fashion project.

The collection is Co’s best and most wearable yet. It has a Spanish flair, with feminine pieces such as a black peasant top, tiered party dress with pleated yoke neckline, and ruffled puff sleeve dress, mixed with a pony hair patch pleated skirt and toreador jacket. There are easy volumes throughout -- a cable knit angora sweater done in a soft A-line shape, for example, and swingy capes trimmed in mink. Although the bulk of the collection is priced under $1,000, there are furs that cost up to $6,000, including the ombre red Astrakhan fur jacket that is the star piece.

“We experimented with this modern block idea at first in our designs and realized it wasn’t really us,” Danan says. “There’s a lot more romance this time.”


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