For her first Los Angeles show and second collection, designer Kalisha Hall of K. RaShaé took inspiration from boxing. She referenced the literal fight in the ring, as well as women’s internal battles, which she mirrored outward for spring. “I took it from the emotional standpoint of what women fight with daily, the internal battle to hold onto that beautiful external, even through depression and loneliness,” Hall said.
Given the luxe fabrics, this collection was most definitely not ath-leisure, yet it referenced the athletic silhouettes of the sport, in shorts, sports bras, tearaway pants and hooded jackets. Two elements of the collection riffed too closely on other, more established brands: stripes down the side of tearaway pants are all too familiar from Adidas, and the newspaper print, from John Galliano’s fall 2000 ready-to-wear collection for Christian Dior. These deserved more fine-tuning to make them more K. RaShaé knockout, less knock-off.
Hall could have done without that tent-shaped newspaper-print dress, which was out of place in a collection where more body-conscious elements worked best; a deep cherry gown, reminiscent of a boxer’s robe, was in tune with the theme, and more flattering with its belted waist. The aforementioned athletic pants were also of the moment, given recent celebrity penchant for these pieces paired with bustiers and crop tops. Another gown, in black, with a built-in shawl-hood attached to armband sleeves, was a successful and interesting pre/post-fight interpretation. Each model’s confident carriage did a lot for every look; like any boxer worth her salt, this K. RaShaé collection necessitates swagger.