“It’s back to all of the things I was talking about last season. Tailoring is really important, there’s a strong use of color and print, it’s bold, it’s bordering on gauche, but cool at the same time,” said Emma Cook, who has reinvigorated those house codes since taking the design helm in 2019 — even as the brand is, as WWD reported, struggling under its new owner Regent LP and it’s unclear how much of her first, fall collection, will be delivered to stores.
Upon first impression, resort, Cook’s second collection was sexy and cool, empowering yet relaxed, a continuation of her first collection and keywords that haven’t been associated with Escada in recent years. “The brand kind of got lost and didn’t really know who it was for a while. I just want to establish a point for the brand again.”
At the center was a focus on product diversity, eveningwear and craftsmanship. While designing in London under quarantine, Cook had time to focus on details and work more artisanally in creating classics that were personal and timeless. “Obviously trend is important, but it has to be something that has a reason to be, not just the same old stuff.”
The “EE” jacquard logo was evolved onto a full knitwear set that existing and new customers will appreciate. A bespoke goddess print consisting of Art Nouveau swirls by illustrator Julie Verhoeven was adorned on spacious and romantic dresses. And a lovely floral jacquard found its way onto a roomy coat and the bodices of evening looks.
Cook’s interpretation of Eighties Escada codes felt modern and cool, including irregular-shaped necklines, gold hardware accents, exaggerated big shoulders and cropped jackets.
Sexier outfits like a gold short suit, skin-baring mini tops and a cardigan dress were chic and easy options expanding Escada’s appeal to a younger audience. “Escada is a bit extra. You want to look sexy, not necessarily from a male point of view, but you want to look sexy for yourself,” Cook said. “She can party, but she might also be a ceo with a gold strap.”