New designer Mary Kahle has an aesthetic of digestible eccentricity that straddles the line between editorial and wearability. Her collections are a foil to minimalist silhouettes — featuring decorative ties, pieced together construction, twisted and layered fabrics — but retain the concept of relaxed, elevated ease that makes them approachable. With just four collections to her name, Kahle has honed in on the quirky sensibilities of her customer, with an artistic thread that transitions seasons.
For spring, Kahle looked to Robert Altman’s impressionistic film “3 Women,” shot in a desert landscape, to set the mood of dark romanticism. Asymmetry was key, especially with some of the most editorial pieces — a one-shoulder top with frayed ruffles; piecemeal fabric swatches on a flowy top or nylon draping on a LBD, and loose ties that could either be left swaying or bandaged. Considerable design elements like that also played into the idea of conceptual utility, with many items that could be worn different ways.
A bishop-sleeve button-down could unfasten at the shoulders for a more angular look, or come off completely, and a lightweight coatdress featured interchanging buttons and utility fastenings so you could choose how to cover up.
For the less adventurous, there were tailored shirtdresses with sharp collars, sleek rounded-shoulder dresses, and a couple of great pants, including a white pair that could be cuffed for an exaggerated hem, and another slouchy pair with a side stripe that allowed you to kick the fabric forward. It all made for a cohesive collection of interchangeable, playful mix-and-match separates.