Newly appointed global design director Niall Sloan is looking to pivot the polished Escada woman back to the aesthetic ideals of its founder, Margaretha Ley, who launched the company in 1978. Diving into the archives, Sloan brought forth playfully eclectic signature logos that added to the Eighties bent of his first collection. Even so, there was an undercurrent of modernity for the confident woman of today.

Sloan began in the world of color, letting the rainbow palette of a blanket swatch dictate a return to the old guard. This particular fabric was cut into a coat with a Mod-like sensibility, paving the way for a wonderfully personable dress with frays at the hem and seams. The aforementioned archive logo print found its way onto an oversized spongy cashmere cardigan with a distinctly retro vibe. If there was any decade the brand could successfully claim, it would be the Eighties. It guided the strong shoulders on tailored suits and the flamboyance of a ruffle-lined taffeta top tucked neatly into a streamlined skirt.

Regarding tailoring, Sloan sought a return to power dressing in a more subtle way. He sharpened the shoulders of a sleek coatdress or relaxed pantsuit, conscious not to isolate the more modest inclinations of loyal customers. The brand has a big business in twinsets, namely for the great relaxed-yet-empowering fits, but also for their seamless boardroom-to-dinner versatility. He was smart not to fiddle too much here, opting to accent blazers with gold branded buttons and a classic trench with bright orange piping.

Of particular focus was crafting emblems that could be recognized season to season. The soft curving lines of an early heart-shaped perfume bottle informed the curved quilting on bags and shoes and the little hearts that broke up the stripes on shirting for a little bit of humor. Balancing the quieter side of power dressing with an audacious sense of color and playful touches, this was a strong debut with contemporary appeal.

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