Duncan breaks through the conservative mold

Up-and-coming luxury brand Duncan showcases women’s evolution from conservative homogeneity to the pursuit of feminine individuality

By Anja Westhues, Contributing Writer

Duncan, founded in 2019 by Michelle Duncan, is a luxury women’s fashion brand based in New York City. It offers designer clothes to the modern, dynamic woman with a demanding schedule. Duncan drew inspiration for the label from the powerful women she encountered while working as a beauty executive at Estée Lauder. 

The pieces can be worn at any time, which strikes a beautiful balance between feminine professionalism and a more audacious nighttime persona. Duncan clothes combine an aesthetic of monochromatic tones with artful use of patterns and decorative embellishments. The label incorporates detailed tailoring alongside eccentric details. 

In the digital viewing experience, the audience remained unseen as the runway lit up to completely focus on the models. While previous collections possessed a more gothic aesthetic, these newer pieces incorporated pops of bright colors, intrepid cuts and intricate patterns, such as stripes and embedded jewels. 

Duncan’s silhouettes possessed a soft feminine allure with accentuated waistlines and pleated mid-length hems. The pieces catered to a variety of tastes, featuring collars, plaid and less traditional pleated skirts. While there were pieces that recreated conventional cuts and designs, there was still a sense of embellishment with a flair, referencing Duncan’s mission of highlighting individuality — even within formal settings.

The brand’s mission was exemplified in a long white-collared button-up with an accessorized blue square at the shoulder. Paired with black bottoms, black Oxford shoes and knee-high tights — and accessorized with black eyeliner and lipstick — Duncan expertly mixes ideas of youthful innocence and sultry maturity. 

Each model’s look was matched with uniform makeup and footwear. This consistency symbolized women’s collective struggle to pursue stylistic expression in traditionally male-dominated settings. Through these features, Duncan showcases a sense of individuality and the disruption of monotonous clothing.

Duncan’s dedication to elegance was evident in all of the pieces featured on the runway. The collection demonstrated the label’s dedication to retaining practicality for the workplace, without sacrificing individuality. 

Contact Anja Westhues at [email protected]