In regard to

Magnetic

Autumn/Winter 2016

As Said by

VOGUE.COM

"You can always count on Karen Walker to name-check a brilliant, if obscure, starting point for her collection. This season it was iconic 20th-century photographer Berenice Abbott—not her work, actually, but what she wore. “Her style was very much androgynous but with a bit of glamour,” said Walker backstage. That juxtaposition was perhaps best exemplified by the roomy denim and khaki pants with elastic waistbands that were often styled with loudThat ’70s Show–esque prints and Lurex knit turtlenecks. Ruffles and blouson sleeves were thoughtful tweaks to some of the designer’s signature silhouettes. And while ruffles seem to be everywhere this season, Walker’s, of course, were a little different, crossing the body asymmetrically. Ruffles for cool girls.

Abbott’s personal wardrobe is very much in line with how Walker sees her brand. “We’re always thinking about utility and functionality; everything has to be ready to go, but”—and this is the crucial caveat—“with a sprinkling of eccentricity.” Indeed, what’s useful and versatile to the Karen Walker customer is definitely not for everyone. Take, for instance, a psychedelic blue and purple print, which upon closer inspection was in fact a finely woven lace that appeared on blouses and tops. A little oddball, yes, but the Karen Walker girl will no doubt find a way to wear it to the office."

Hayley Phelan

As Said by

BUSINESS OF FASHION

"..taking inspiration from the extremely functional garb of famed photographer Berenice Abbott — “Her own personal style didn’t change for 80 years,” Walker marvelled — then adding accents of her own prosaic glamour. The first look set the tone: utilitarian dungarees worn over a gold lurex mock turtle.

Later in her career, Abbott took to industrial photography. From that, Walker extemporized an “electro-magnetic” print in slightly delic shades of red and purple, which she made into a lace for belted shifts. The simple silhouette was a reminder that she’s always been partial to a marriage of the fashionable and the functional. Or, as the shownotes described Abbott’s personal style, “a mix of no fuss utility with a good amount of joie de vivre.”

The same mix shaped the sunglasses — now Walker’s most internationally successful category — which came glamorously oversized, but also with a slight hint of protective industrial eyewear.

“Feminism’s always part of what I do,” said Walker. The independent spirit of her clothes and her business could possibly be attributed in part to her roots in New Zealand, where self-sufficiency comes with the territory, but the way she has slowly, steadily expanded her design repertoire has also been a masterclass in complete control. Now it’s a real pleasure to see Walker mature. The stars of this collection were a couple of utterly elegant overcoats, one, in rich rust-toned shearling, a sure winner. Elegance born of experience.”

Tim Blanks

In regard to

Magnetic

Autumn/Winter 2016