The line, co-designed by Lu Chen and Jacky Luo, both of whom studied at Parsons, builds on the former’s unfinished (because of COVID) thesis. Chen says it was her mission to finish what she had started, and one can feel the seriousness and purposefulness of the team’s approach. The workmanship is meticulous and stands as a testament to skill and possibility. Chen rightly likens it to couture, but there’s a difference; none of the pieces are for sale. They are, rather, material explorations that serve as templates for the ready-to-wear line. This model is disruptive, especially within the context of American fashion history (which is in the spotlight because of the Costume Institute’s new exhibition). For decades, American buyers paid French houses for the right to reproduce Parisian designs, and Seventh Avenue was largely in the business of copying French fashion, which was considered more elevated, more cultured, more interesting and desirable than homegrown design. In contrast, Lùchen is self-reliant, conceptualizing and iterating on its own concepts and construction. And the team does this according to their own pace.