Many in the fashion industry, and lots of shoppers, too, no doubt, have traditionally looked to Kate Spade for cool handbags and accessories. But, now that the company has just introduced a totally cool and quite groovy clothing collection for Fall 2009, it would seem apparent that more than just a few Kate Spade afficinados will cast a sharp eye on lots of these new looks. After all, most girls wants to be very stylish, and judging from what the fashion press saw in the showroom during this informal presentation, that thought might not be too hard to achieve.
Taking much inspiration from vintage and retrospective clothing across the board, the Kate Spade design team served up a hard-to-miss Mod theme, which embraced, for the majority of the pieces on hand here, a mix of wildly colored and black-and-white pieces that could work equally well in modern times as they could when worn by a fabulous “bird”, cozying next to Austin Powers in a Union Jack emblazoned, English sportscar.
Targeted obviously to the young, hip, and thin girls out there, who like to shop at Kate Spade stores, as well as Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus, where the collection will also be sold, this line has its place because it is basically intelligent and well thought out.
Thankfully, the designs in this line do not seem to be focused on the same-old, same-old, re-hashing of American Mod, which has been the story from too many designers of late. What makes this collection so much fun and so real is that most of the pieces definitely appear to be zany, wicked and wild; the sort of old-school, kicking it up, and anything goes Mod that so many in the fashion industry remember with a smile, a wink and a nod to their crazy youth. Maybe the majority of the collection works so well because the designers actually wanted the collection to be the kind of authentic, European Mod that comes straight up from London, Paris and Rome. Or, maybe what was in their creative minds on the whole was a broader type of Mod that is coming from anywhere those who see this collection, want it to come from. And, that is perfectly fine.
On the high note of this line, there are the whimsical and bright, little dresses, sequined and patterned mini skirts, classic-with-a-twist, double-breasted “Stewardess” coats, cropped, furry, fun accouterments (wraps and jackets, mostly), wildly patterned bow-tie blouses, super- embellished shifts, and the like. Moreover, the clothes look really neat when shown with signature accessories, such as subdued (or wild and out there) buckled, flat shoes, hot red tights, youthquake-style hats (the nifty bucket hat is just right), crazy , layered all over jewelry (bracelets and necklaces, for example) and the de rigeuer handbag (small or big, it does not really matter, because all of the handbags, especially the “Owl” looks work so well).
However, there are some problems, albeit small problems, with some of the pieces in the line, which can take away from all of the fun and zest of the overall collection. There are some low-points, particularly when it comes to a few drab jackets, pants and vests, predominently done up in unnecessary and boring blacks and greys; ho-hum colors which really are out of place with everything else that is happening here. Trying hard to give more life to this part of the line are some of the accompanying pink and white under-pieces, some of which seem to be wanting to break out and join their more whimsical counterparts elsewhere in the grouping. Well, that just did not seem to happen at all during the presentation, and when it did not happen; well, that was just too bad.
– Adrienne Weinfeld-Berg