by Alex R. Travers
Designers Ken Kaufman and Issac Franco aren’t afraid to admit that there is tension between them. “It pushes us creatively,” says the duo. And for their Fall 2013 collection, the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde dialogue of Kaufmanfranco succeeded. “Good girl, bad girl,” read the collection notes, along with other opposites like “raw, refined” and “simple, complex.” The line translated well. Onyx pants, peas, and plunges had great detailing, yet still gave off a minimalist expression. So did the cornichon stretch biker pants, one of my favorite pieces in the collection.
The craftsmanship here is pert perfection. Cameras came out when an onyx topper with sequin shatters—their texture similar to razor clams—strutted down the runway. The column dresses were also a pleasure to look at, but their only unequivocal virtue was the silhouette—the models that wore these dresses could barely walk down the runway. There was also an elongated circular tattoo tee that the collection could have done without. The fox furs were too cozy and safe to excite the senses.
What’s missing in the Kaufmanfranco collection is a feeling that the duo can dress both the good and the bad girl. They nail the femme fetal; the results with leather and onyx are raw and riveting. But the good girl comes up short.