“I’m a designer for real women—mature, career-oriented and fabulous,” declares Courtney Washington.
"Style in Evolution" is the collection theme and it is an answer to Washington's customer who is paying more attention to her body. Therefore the collection is body friendly, but with a relaxed and easy aesthetic. This is Courtney at his best. He has managed to create clothing that is trendy, caters to the form and makes even everyday dressing chic.
This season, Courtney continues with some favorite looks that his customer flocks to-- architecturally cut, body-flattering clothing in eclectic fabrics--with the addition of new fabrications and new silhouettes. So what’s in store? Nothing that his customer is a sophisticated world-traveler (and includes dance legend Judith Jamison, R&B sensation Angie Stone and legendary musician Roberta Flack), she also wants modernity in her wardrobe.
To that end, stretch denim joins the lineup for tops and bottoms. A standout look: a long, hip-skimming gored skirt that flares out gently like a trumpet. Topping it is a flattering, slim-fit mandarin-collared jacket, nipped in at the waist with giant eyelets and grosgrain ribbon.
Also new this season is a selection of boiled wools in temperature-warming shades of gray, sage green and burnt orange, along with red and black. These are turned into fitted, tailored jackets with a modern take on the leg-o-mutton sleeves. Skirts are also fitted and gored, from knee-length to long. Each piece can be mixed and matched seamlessly. And as Courtney loves a good detail, he chose custom-made buttons in natural materials like horn and wood.
He also continues with his favorite pucker fabric, favored by on-the-road customers who love the ease of no-ironing packing and go-with-everything separates. This time, however, the styles are focused on ready-to-wear eveningwear, with the addition of lace trim and body-conscious cuts for pants, skirts and wrap jackets with their trademark asymmetrical hemlines. Shades include lavender, red, black grey, burnt orange and brown.
About the Designer
His life now is a far cry from his life growing up in the mean streets of East Kingston, Jamaica. However, designing is in his DNA: His mother was a seamstress, and the young Courtney began sewing out of necessity, whipping up custom ensembles for his sisters and cousins.
“You couldn’t find things that were made for your body back then,” he explains. It wasn’t until he met his mentor renowned Jamaican designer June Escoffe—whom he calls “a designer’s designer”--when he fell in love with fashion and decided that designing high-end clothing was his calling.
In 1994 he made the move to New York, doing stints at the Fashion Institute of Technology and Pratt Institute, and eventually opening his own store in Brooklyn. His designs consisted of architecturally cut clothing in eclectic fabrics, some of them hand-painted. Each design is meant to fit real women or all sizes, often custom-made, for an appreciative and loyal clientele, and that continues today.
“I started out making quality clothes,” Courtney recalls, “and I’ve never had to lower my standards.”
307 West 38th street
between 8th and 9th avenue.
New York, NY