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Lucire: Fashion
The Circuit

Lucire fashion feature
Michelle Ochs and Carly Cushnie A casual meet-the-press

Fashion talks with Cushnie et Ochs

Lola Saab heads to a Q&A with Michelle Ochs and Carly Cushnie, the duo behind Cushnie et Ochs, who showed their spring–summer 2013 collection at New York Fashion Week
Photographed by Melissa Murphy
Catwalk and backstage photographed by Thomas Kletecka/Collective Edit and Steven Churchill Downes



While the hustle-and-bustle lingered in and around Lincoln Center, the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, blocks away from the tents, also lavishly contributed to the fashion world. A handful of people were invited to attend a Q&A session with the two talented designers of Cushnie et Ochs, Michelle Ochs and Carly Cushnie. It was an intimate, personal setting, bringing the designers and attendees closer together. They shared their personal experiences and discussed detailed ideas embedded within their fabulous creations.

The young designers behind Cushnie et Ochs collaborated on their own name brand back in 2008, shortly after graduating from Parsons New School of Design. In the spring of 2009, they presented their first runway show, which was just the beginning of their journey into the sophisticated world of fashion.

The new season’s collection stays true to ‘feminine’ appeal, an element that is successfully evoked throughout each collection. White, light sea green, dark blue and bold black lit up the spring–summer 2013 runway. The designs are well structured as the fabric follows the wearer’s feminine curves. The looks highlight feminine figures while showing off some skin. The only slight accessory that accompanies the looks are the ankle-strap stilettos.

Cushnie called the collection, ‘beautiful structured dresses.’ She recalled looking at pictures of Ochs, who is half-Filipino, and appreciating the traditional dress wear she saw in the photograph. Consequently, a collection in reference to the islands was born. When describing the collection in more detail, Cushnie added, ‘A bit lighter that we’ve done before … something a bit more relaxed.’

Celebrities such as Kelly Rowland, Jessica Alba, Ciara and Rihanna have already indulged in a Cushnie et Ochs piece. One particular political celebrity has also done the same: Michelle Obama wore a fabulous Cushnie et Ochs dress with criss-cross straps at the front. The dress, which was especially designed for the First Lady, was featured in the taping of Christmas in Washington in 2011. ‘We got to dress the First Lady, she looked great,’ said Ochs. ‘It was especially tailored for her … she’s a tall lady.’

The duo looks back on their New York Fashion Week memory, dating back to before their flourishing years. ‘[We] snuck into the tents … We managed to talk our way into the tents,’ explained Cushnie as they both reminisced on the days when they managed to attend a Luca Luca fashion show.

Cushnie and Ochs not only design pieces for other women to enjoy, they also wear pieces from their own brand. ‘[It] feels great to wear [our] own stuff.’

Designing looks on the runway are what the designers specialize in, but they recently shifted their artistic sense from the catwalk to technological devices. They designed a new customized HTC One phone which comes fully equipped with photos from their previous collection. ‘We wanted to keep the design of the phone still very classic but with a bold look.’ The yin-yang effect portrayed in the handset’s design fulfils both men and women’s tastes.

As Cushnie et Ochs enters its ninth season, the designers look forward to continue to develop upon looks and future trends that will be ready to take over the runway. •


The duo looks back on their New York Fashion Week memory, dating back to before their flourishing years. [We] snuck in We managed to talk our way into the tents, explained Cushnie as they both reminisced on the days when they managed to attend a Luca Luca fashion show





Hair notes











Lola Saab is Paris editor of Lucire.







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