Orange Skirts and Code Orange

The Fall 2003 Collections

On the penultimate evening of Fashion Week, a day when Americans are being urged to stock up on bottled water and bank enough food to last three days, a young guy named Ben Cho presents a collection at Exit Art on Tenth Avenue. Cho offers an exquisite group of clothes—bumsters that manage to look elegant; perfectly cut striped sailor shirts; silk dresses with necklines like flowers—far more interesting than most things you see in the tents.

Ape cape: sock monkey fashion from Liz Collins
photo: Chris Vauclain
Ape cape: sock monkey fashion from Liz Collins

After the show, Cho, who has blue hair and had himself modeled in the Pierrot show earlier in the week, is asked if he's been freaking out the last few days. "I'm actually loving it! It's just so crazy, we were making clothes up to the last minute. I really enjoy making clothes." When it's explained that he's being asked about the world situation, he says, "Actually I worry about it a lot in my real life. It sounds self-indulgent, but working took me away from my regular existence, when I'm so tortured by what's going on." Is he worried that a faltering economy will wreck his career? He laughs. "I never was so successful business-wise anyway."

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