NYFW: Jen Kao and BiJules vs. Ruvan

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New York Fashion Week got off to a less-than-stellar start: from a plane-delaying, stiletto-defeating blizzard and the tragic and unexpected death of Alexander McQueen, spirits were understandably a bit lower than usual. But fearless as always (or possibly just masochistic?) I still ventured out into the wilderness (in six-inch wedge heels) with notebook and camera in hand.

I might as well just put this out there to begin with to warn you: I am still a recovering twelve year old Hot Topic goth, and kind of obsessed with terrible 80's/90's scifi and fantasy movies. So it's not that surprising that I was losing my shit over Jen Kao's FW 2010.11 collection last night at Milk Studios: leather miniskirts and crazy-collared furs, unexpected cutouts and angular sheer insets, space age medieval witch-princess dresses, deconstructed bodycon knits, and Eddie Borgo's enormous metal chokers and totally-90s-one-ear-cuff-earrings of glory? Hell yes! It was like The Princess Bride met Blade Runner, and I couldn't have been happier about it.

I headed downtown afterwards for a presentation from another young Asian-American designer: Jules Kim presented her jewelry line BiJules along with photographer Ruvan Wijesooriya's pictures of the collection at Eva NY. Ruvan's gritty and saturated images showcased Jules' trademark edgy pieces, including chain harness necklaces, giant metal shoulder cuffs, a horsefly lapel pin, and delicate lace gloves adorned with bone-shaped bar rings. (Karen O and Lady Gaga are, understandably, among her fans.) And not that those $2k metal chain face veils aren't fucking awesome, but I personally was pleased to also learn that she's developing a more affordable diffusion line of plastic and recycled jewelry — called, uh, LeBij. (I told you I was still twelve.)