Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Held during the same time slot as one of New York's most highly anticipated shows, Rodarte, there's no doubt Karen Walker pulled the short straw this season. But New Zealand's favourite international designer still managed to bring in a strong crowd, including a few familiar faces: Fashion Toast's Rumi Neely sat front row, Tim Phin of Remix was a couple of seats over from hairdresser Richard Kavanagh, NO Magazine's Zara Mirkin sat alongside Vogue Australia's Meg Gray, and even Kiwi entrepreneur Derek Handley turned up to say hello.
In true Karen Walker form, the collection was dominated by prints: checks mixed with florals, stripes with polka dots. The show notes referenced Taxi Driver, and the contrasting styles of its two female leads – Betsy (Cybill Shepherd) and Iris (Jodi Foster) – one elegant, the other flirty and girlish. A demure twinset spoke to Betsy's understated allure, as did a modestly-necked dress that revealed collarbone and little else. The more overt Iris came through in thigh skimming shorts and sheer blouses, or crazily mismatched multicolour florals piled on top of each other.
Though Travis wasn't given a nod, the best moments occurred when the feminine shapes were mixed with masculine tailoring, like a walnut-brown linen blazer, or the navy pants paired with a pink and blue check polo shirt. With such consistently strong menswear-inspired collections, the question begs to be asked: When will Karen Walker start designing for the not-so-fair sex? We'll await developments with keen interest.
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