Pret-a-Reporter

Front Row Report, Cushnie et Ochs: The 'Empire' Cast Can't Get Enough of the Label

REX USA
Cushnie et Ochs spring 2016

Designers Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs dream of dressing Michelle Pfeiffer. Plus, body-con lives on for spring.

"We’d love to dress Sharon Stone — and Michelle Pfeiffer. Yes, Michelle!" said Cushnie et Ochs’ Carly Cushnie. "She has always been our style muse from Scarface," added design partner Michelle Ochs.

Not an unattainable goal for the edgy-cool pair, who first debuted their modern take on ’80s body-con in 2008. Models-turned-actresses Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Emily Ratajkowski and pretty much anyone hot in Hollywood (Charlize Theron, Amber Heard, Megan Fox and Zoe Saldana) already consider Cushnie et Ochs a red carpet must.

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For spring, the pair stuck to their signature cut-out styles, but in soft peach, mint and lavender. “We started looking at Kehinde Wiley’s work — the portrait artist — and from there the theme became uptown gangster. We wanted to mix 90’s hip hop references with a sort of uptown lady,” said Cushnie. “Pastels but a lot of overall references and the bandanas were made out of duchess satin to elevate it a bit.” A dark berry-hued goth lip gave the models wearing saccharine shades just enough edge. “We needed to toughen up those pastels,” said Ochs. Actress Ashley Madekwe gushed backstage to the designers that she “loved the purple lips.”

Also at the show were actresses Grace Gealey and Kaitlin Doubleday from Empire. Cushnie et Ochs was recently named as part of a designer collaboration with the FOX hip-hop drama and Saks Fifth Avenue (other brands include Jimmy Choo and Alexis Bittar). Empire-inspired Saks store windows will be unveiled on Sept. 12 during NYFW with the designers and cast members Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard expected to attend.

It’s safe to say “C” is for Cookie, Cushnie et Ochs and curve-hugging glam.

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