In Deborah Lloyd’s past life designing for Byblos, she wondered what all the fuss about Morocco was — until she ventured there for the first time around 20 years ago. “Then I got it,” she said. “It’s gorgeous, full of ceremony. You cannot take a bad photo there.”
The Kate Spade New York president and chief creative officer recently ventured back in March for another round of inspiration. The Morocco-infused collection, with a city gal sensibility, was just the jolt of excitement the brand needed lest it fall victim to its own repetitive, albeit successful, formula. Lloyd’s show format also took a new turn. The brand has decided to board the buy-now-wear-now train for spring, with this presentation for long-lead press and buyers and a “happening” to address bloggers, VIPs and customers in February.
As always, Lloyd had the New York woman in mind. She opened the show with a rose-print and embroidery heavy group in pink, red and black that was chock full of the Seventies-style chiffon dresses that are getting a lot of love right now. A black blouse with rose-embroidered epaulets paired with a rose-print pleated skirt and a black denim suit with rose embroidery over a pink blouse added a rockabilly vibe to the North African mood.
Tiered sundresses in awning stripes, a mosaic tile print and a crisp black-and-white stripe were ready for sand dunes or sidewalks, while pom-poms and tassels spiced up the Marrakech feel, especially on a richly beaded navy dress. Whites, which included an eyelet dress and pants as well as a shirt worn with a cream knit poncho, were also standouts, while a new oversize layered silhouette added freshness. Voluminous cotton shirting layered with full gaucho-inspired pants and a cropped navy jacket looked edgy in an artsy way — something New York women on their daily mad dash will appreciate.