“She believed she could so she did.” “She’s a leader in her field.” “She goes to great lengths for things she loves.” “She’s got a lot of wild ideas.” These sentiments were on the soundtrack at Kate Spade New York’s fall presentation. While the brand’s chief creative officer Deborah Lloyd was thinking of Louise Brooks and Josephine Baker, the poster children for the newly emancipated women of the Twenties who found their beauty and fashion when codes finally freed up, Lloyd admitted their timeliness to our political culture right now. “I think you can’t be living in America and not be influenced,” she said. Along with Brooks and Baker, Lloyd was thinking of a mysterious women in a Kees van Dongen painting, which brought to mind women arriving in Paris with their worldly belongings and a style of dress they picked up along the way. Apparently they picked up plenty of leopard prints and red pieces, a color well-suited for “facing the world with strength.”
There were also folkloric embroideries and embellishments on romantic blouses and tiered peasant dresses, a popular staple chez Spade these days. These seemed positively Czar-inspired — apt as the event was held at the Russian Tea Room.
Outerwear with the trademark Spade whimsy was another focal point of this collection. A faux-fur leopard bomber, a bubblegum-pink nylon puffer with a ruffled collar, a fur-trimmed navy cape and military jackets with feminine touches were standouts. And while there were playful touches throughout — a fur commissar hat; a babushka-doll face on a heel; a black-forest-cake bag — overall the feeling of the collection was less kitsch. Quite revolutionary indeed.