Manhattan based designer Jenny Lai has recently introduced NOT, a modern womenswear collection that places as much emphasis on the experience of wearing clothing as on the construction itself. NOT derails mainstream design with forced intention that strives for individualism and targets fashion conscious anomalies.
After securing a BA in apparel design at Rhode Island School of Design, Lai explored innovative fashion while working at Viktor & Rolf and Boudicca before eventually establishing NOT. Her conceptual s/s ’12 “Portrait by Sheet” illustrates a woman who exposes herself in what she chooses to hide—not what she reveals to the observer. The debut collection consists of complex, moody looks in a predominantly monochromatic palette of grays, with hints of green and navy.
The hooded blouses and twisting shapes highlight Lai’s talent for draping as well as a knack for versatile garments. A gray silk sleeveless dress with clean ruffle from shoulder to skirt, for instance, gathers neatly at the waist to create a nice drape at the hips. Elsewhere, a lightweight Banner top made of Indian cotton bears an exaggerated two-layered hood with a visor and doubles as a folding top or sheer dress.