With last season’s inspiration of a British sci-fi series in mind, we could only wait in anticipation for what Karen Walker would present for her spring 2016 ready-to-war collection. The designer didn’t disappoint, either, when she came out with her inspiration of a remote Russian town for the Karen Walker spring/summer 2016 RTW lineup. “We came across these photos, taken in the 80s, of this unmarked town just north of Moscow called Star City, that was a secret military training base for the Soviet Union’s space program,” Walker began. She loved the way in which the folksy Russian sitting rooms looked chintzy, but were full of space uniforms. Her goal with this collection was to contrast the “folksy, domestic, and ordinary with high-tech, cutting-edge utility and a shot of glam.”
Without knowing what to expect from that explanation, the show began, and the ideas instantly began to come together. Karen Walker really pays attention to detail, and this show was no exception. Her pieces display details that loosely mimic that of space suits, that are amazing if you know the theme of the line, but also make for great commercial wear, as her ideas aren’t too glaring.
It can be said without a shadow of a doubt that Walker’s inspirations are utter madness, but it can also undeniably be said that she creates beautiful art. While some of her RTW clothes are not for the faint of heart, as with her shiny gold skirts, shorts, and tops, there is an air of sophistication mixed in as well. In fact, one of my favorite garments from the line is her pair of checkered pants. There’s something so fun about that pattern that is also muted to the point of professionalism; a true gem in the world of office wear.
Another favorite from the Karen Walker spring 2016 line is her bright orange asymmetrical dress. It is a piece I would love to have in my wardrobe, and would shape many women’s bodies nicely. The color is an added bonus, because that is a hard palette to work into a daily wardrobe, but this dress has the perfect balance of fun and reserve.
This idea of fun freedom is spread through the whole collection, with one such treasure being her usage of horizontal zippers. You can see on some of her garments that there is a horizontal zipper that runs around the piece. This is no decoration, but rather discrete utility that Karen Walker added into her line. These zippers serve to make dresses/skirts shorter and turn dresses into tops. A true act of innovation, and she is able to stay true to her astronaut inspiration.
It seems there was a method to her madness after all, and Karen Walker actually was able to create a combination of folk, futurism, and glam, and what resulted was truly amazing to behold.
Photos courtesy of Vogue