Though Molly Girard Coonan and Alice Barlow met back in 2003 — Coonan was a design assistant for Cynthia Vincent, while Barlow was an assistant buyer for Ron Herman — it wasn't until last July that the two were thrown together professionally. Cynthia Vincent was backing a new line and asked the pair to collaborate, a proposition that resulted in the launch of Barlow for spring 2010.
"We try to have a dichotomy in our collections," explains Coonan. "We like to mix in elements that are both masculine and sexy." (Their inspiration board includes snapshots of Eleanor Jackson of La Roux, Freja Beha, and Marina and the Diamonds, among others.) The clothes are both daring and tongue-in-cheek, highlighted by leather dresses, slinky pencil skirts, lacy cutouts, and strong shoulders. This fall, the collection was picked up by Oak and Big Drop , and Girard Coonan is working on a capsule collection of organic cotton T-shirts. Click ahead to see more looks from the fall and holiday collections.