Kate Spade took its ready-to-wear fall/winter 2016 collection to the Rainbow Room, on top of the Rockefeller Center, for New York Fashion Week. The collection itself was very reminiscent of past fashion decades – think the ‘70s meet the tailoring of the ‘20s – and maintained a polished and sophisticated poise throughout, although, creative director Deborah Lloyd cited “the chic bohemian spirit of sirens, divas, and creative firebirds of the stage” as the main source of inspiration. You can see the bohemian roots, although the image of a creative firebird doesn’t quite seem to ring true to the put-together garments presented on the stage. Perhaps the word “firebird” is just a bit too strong for this purpose; for there is a particular artistry that you can definitely connect back to the stage and music, especially through the brand’s esteemed accessories.
And the stage was set by soulful singer Alice Smith, who performed classic jazz and piano-bar classes for the audience in attendance. Jazz and ballet were the two clear musical references in this line, and their stage was just as grand as you would expect for a collection of such caliber. It began with a round stage, which rotated. A musical fashion performance deserves an innovative stage to walk, no doubt. And featured on the models, who stood on the moving runway, were looks that match up perfectly with the Kate Spade past design mentality, with the pristine use of florals and neat tailoring.
Each piece managed to be new and unique while not throwing off the cohesion of the line as a whole. The prints worked well together, even though some seemed to be taken out of completely different fashion eras, like the bohemian floral vs the pink houndstooth. The sophisticated aspect of the Kate Spade fall/winter 2016-2017 collection made everything seem ladylike and almost posh, in a truly lovely way.
The tailoring in the pants and coats was done well, and the proportions were all spot on for the target demographic. For the most part, the bohemian edge of the ‘70s was playing out against the classic, straight-lined style of fashion past. It is almost as if the brand created two separate collections with vastly different sources of inspiration and then managed to find a way to push them together in one collection. Looking at the individual garments and their backgrounds, it might seem impossible to achieve something like this, yet this collection is cohesive and was able to incorporate everything Lloyd wanted to.
And it was the accessorizing and styling that brought everything to a neat and tidy closing. The shoes in particular made each outfit unique. There were times when the footwear blended perfectly with the outfits, and others when it acted as a nice surprise against the other patterns and colors. And the same goes for the use of handbags. Finally, headwear was used in some surprising places. All of the accessories served their own purposes in the overall success of the collection, and each piece definitely made the line more refined yet exciting.
Photos courtesy of Vogue