The city is a jungle and Karen Walker knows that, as much as she knows how deeply beloved are her creations all over the world. Worn by personalities such as Alexa Chung and Natalie Portman, who automatically upgrade their status as anti-it girls whenever they are sporting one of Karen Walker’s looks, the New Zealander fashion designer’s remarkable outfits all feature funky vibes and strong androgynous lines that are basically pure love. For the Karen Walker fall/winter 2016-17 ready-to-wear collection, showcased at New York Fashion Week, she kept on channeling her signature boyfriend looks, just to be able to intertwine them with some Thirties vibes and military-inspired cuts.
This collection’s mood-board, which must always exceedingly boost one’s fantasy and creativity, was filled with Berenice Abbott’s photography works, whose subjects were mainly American expatriates in Europe and European citizens just before the outbreak of the Second World War. To better embrace a full Abbott-ian experience, Karen Walker actually borrowed not only ideas and perspectives from what the American photographer loved capturing, but also from what Abbott herself often wore, as “her style was very much androgynous but with a bit of glamour.” To embrace and praise Abbott’s life and persona even more, Karen Walker even entitled one of her creations as ‘Berenice’ – namely a black ruffled maxi dress, which recalls the designer’s ideal views on fashion. Berenice Abbott and Karen Walker have a lot in common, their styles being both androgynous and feminine at the same time.
Abbott’s style served also as a very useful inspiration for what concerns comfort and easiness, as Walker’s main goal is delivering functional yet wearable quirky proposals season after season: “We’re always thinking about utility and functionality; everything has to be ready to go, but with a sprinkling of eccentricity,” she told Vogue.
Although focusing on classics such as pencil skirts, peg-leg trousers and puffy-sleeved blouses, for her fall/winter 2016-17 rtw collection Walker tried to break the norms by adding unconventional (and quite unforgettable) touches of colors to the designs, which include psychedelic color-blocking prints, jagged hems, structured layers and even fringes. She achieved her goal by combining sleek materials with soft silky fabrics too, creating a quaint and sophisticated contrasting effect that is destined to charm most of us.
Equally interesting is Walker’s multifaceted color palette, the colors ranging from bright light blue to khaki, camel and purple. To spice things up, she mixed and matched most of these hues together, creating a chromatically dynamic lineup that even draws inspiration from the most eclectic decades par excellence – the Seventies.
Those who are looking for some must-have staples should definitely check out the many Karen Walker pants proposals, while those who feel curious about this New York Fashion Week’s androgynous wave should definitely sport one of Walker’s mannish suits. Other key items include funky sunglasses, pointy-toe shoes, retro style handbags and even berets, which were one of Berenice Abbott’s most remarkable style favorites too.
Photos courtesy of Vogue