Kate Spade New York creative director Deborah Lloyd is known to take a theme and run with it. Her summer and pre-fall collections, split into three separate deliveries, are no exception, and this time took a trip to sunny Mexico. She added to the mix by weaving in pieces from the Broome Street collection, meant to embody the more casual side of the brand and the Madison Avenue group, the vertical retail-only higher-end collection. Increasingly, the brand’s M-O is to mix these different yet somewhat similar product offerings.
The KSNY customer has always been into “see-now-buy-now,” so the first two deliveries (May and June) are true summer clothes. Lloyd’s travels once again influenced the collection, this time especially inspired by a trip to Frida Kahlo’s home outside of Mexico City. A floral print based on the artist’s gardens featured on signature flirty dresses, blouses and skirts. Ruffled skirt hems, sleeves and off-the-shoulder bodices ran rampant throughout, while rick-rack was a constant detail, appearing as trim on crisp shirt sleeves and on leather goods. Traditional Mexican floral embroideries graced linen bolero or “Zouave”-style toppers and denim skirts. The whimsy in the accessories remains steadfast; leather goods resembling a taco cart or cactus and a carnation style necklace similar to Kahlo’s signature headpiece were plentiful. The house-staple striped mariner T-shirt of Broome Street joined the fiesta with ruffled sleeves and contrasting floral embroidery along the neckline. Madison Avenue expressed the South-of-the-Border mood best with romantic white and black eyelet with traditional ruffled and tiered hems on below-the-knee dresses and at the waistline on tops.
The pre-fall group offered a more restrained take — Lloyd said the aim was that those wardrobe staples can carry the customer through several months. Two key themes were a chambray group, which included a boiler suit in a cropped length and multi-shade denim tiered skirts à la Seventies Bohemian, while a studded group of smart day dresses and key suede pieces — an A-line skirt and boxy collar jacket — stood out.
Accessories in black, burgundy and pale pink were also restrained; the boxy top-handle day bags looked extra chic when not tricked out.