public school brings the outside in for fall/winter 16

New York Fashion Week: Men’s kicked off with a bang courtesy of native sons Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi Chow.

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Feb 3 2016, 3:40pm

With a name like Public School, there's bound to be a bit of populism somewhere in the mix. Earlier this week, the buzzy NYC brand announced on Instagram that 50 lucky art fans who claimed a branded wristband at the Whitney Museum would be awarded access to its fall/winter 16 menswear show. Couldn't make it to the Meatpacking District fast enough? No worries. Design duo Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi Chow invited fans to watch from the outside in.

"We always liked the outside better anyways. It's where we felt closest to home, on the outskirts far away from the middle," read a cryptic Instagram caption posted on Sunday. The pair -- who also helm hometown brand DKNY -- clarified that post's meaning in another Insta snap shared ahead of this morning's men's show, which was staged just up the street from the Whitney at Milk Studios. "No wristband? The best place to watch is from The High Line," its caption read.

Fashion fans took them up on the offer. As Twin Shadow frontman George Lewis Jr.'s original soundtrack boomed, curtains inside the venue dropped to reveal an eager pack of outsiders watching the model's opening walks take place outside the venue, before looking in on the show through giant glass windows. Duality prevailed as a theme in the pair's collection, too.

Osborne and Chow's natural fabrics complemented the collection's standout synthetic styles. Tweeds, twills, and sparing use of denim kept things from falling too far into The Matrix. Quilted nylon pants, jumpsuits, and jackets proved high points throughout the offering. But the garments' futuristic functionality (who doesn't need a taped seam knee pocket?) was balanced by far less techy styling touches, like wide brimmed hats and thick leather belts.

The PS pair kept silhouettes on the slim side, which allowed them freedom to play with proportions. Turtleneck sleeves were skinny, but their collars were rather bunchy. Boxy cropped layering pieces were teamed with longer shirts or apron pants. Drainpipes walked with baggier overcoats. But no matter how loose the garment's cut, Osborne and Chow's tailoring remained precise.

Recently, Public School unveiled its third collaboration with Air Jordan sneakers -- an ashy suede version of Osborne and Chow's favorite model, the XII. Today's menswear offering was far from monochromatic, but there were certainly a few shades of grey found in relaxed wool pants, crisp cotton shirts, and tweed jackets. Grey also formed a few of the collection's varied camo moments; the print was featured on tapered trousers, a boxy tee, and a beautiful brushed jumpsuit.

But back to those shoes. While most of Osborne and Chows diverse crop of boys walked in leather sneakers or dress shoes, two sported a pair of black and white PSNY-branded Jordan XIIs. Internet sleuthing would suggest that these pairs are the same style as a super limited run of 50 black-and-white models the brand produced for friends and family in 2015. Might their appearance on today's runway be a hint of what to expect from the brand's next Jordan collab? Perhaps they'll be bringing the inside out. 

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Text Emily Manning