For her first collection as global design director, Emma Cook sought to elevate fundamental Escada house codes — namely tailoring, where boardroom suits have become synonymous with the brand; cocktail dressing, and high ticket shearling, as an alternative to fur. Though Escada hasn’t been associated with modernity as of late, the fall range showed the promising beginning of Cook’s vision balancing sophistication with whimsy, which should appeal to both new and loyal customers alike.

“Just because the brand had its heyday in the Eighties doesn’t mean it should look like the Eighties,” Cook said of her game plan coming onboard, adding: “It was less about the archives and more about the values of the brand and what would that brand stand for today if Margaretha [Ley, the firm’s founding designer] was doing it today.”

With tailoring having its moment on the runway, it was wise of Cook to offer variety here without alienating the more conservative inclinations of returning customers. A head-to-toe logo jacquard suit was a playful standout, with other strong contenders featuring illusory double layers and gold cast buttons.

Gold hardware, in fact, was a common thread throughout, as buttons spelling out Escada accented a cozy and glamorous shearling coat, and as a necklace holding up the silky green pleats of a seductive evening dress. Other statement items included a luxe shirtdress cut with an archive fur print, a shearling coat with graphic chain link pattern that was actually all hand-pieced together, and a trenchcoat with a bold burgundy print Cook accurately described as being “a bit max.”

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