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A Few Pleasant Surprises at the Third Night of Concept

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By the third night of the Concept show, the staff had ironed out some of the administrative kinks, and the gallery was a good 20 degrees cooler, which automatically predisposed us to a more favorable opinion of whatever followed. Expect the best but prepare for the worst, isn't that the phrase?

We're not going to waste a lot of ink on the installations. All you need to do is click through the gallery above and you'll understand. We were literally at a loss for words. Nice ones, anyway. And just so you know, the "nice surprises" in the title does not refer to the installations. Just clearing that up.

We were actually quite pleasantly surprised by Bryan Hearns. We only saw the tail end of the runway show, but caught up with the designer and dresses backstage. In fashion, it seems there's a fine line between whimsical and redonkulous; the 21-year-old Hearns landed on just the right side of it. We can't exactly explain why the collection seemed to work: funky, unconstructed polos were paired with ostrich feather skirts, and there were silk and feather dresses that appeared sleek and dramatic rather than costumey. We weren't 100% on board with everything; but the kid shows a lot of promise.

Next up was Nami, the eponymous line of Sarah Nami Ahn. The Nami collection was polished and cohesive, but not lacking in variety. Ahn has real skills that won her a stint as a guest designer at Laundry by Shelli Segal.The pieces that worked best had a casual/beachy vibe. We didn't care for pieces like the short trench or the tweed-looking flared miniskirt: the tailoring was sloppy and the material looked cheap. Despite plenty of sheer shirts, nipples and booty shorts, the collection had something of a reserved feel to it. It's totally marketable stuff; after learning of Ahn's unique backstory (she earned a PhD in neuroscience before entering the fashion world), we totally wanted to root for this line, but it's just not our thing.

We had to bail before Thai Nygun's portion of the show. Kind of a bummer, since we saw so much promise in the shows of the night's two previous designers. It will be interesting to see where they are when the next Concept show rolls around.
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