Sunday, September 7, 2008
Australian model Skye Stracke works a faded leopard print shift dress in Karen Walker's The Believers SS09 collection in New York yesterday.
Androgyny is a key component of Karen Walker’s brand DNA – the first garments she made for market back in 1988 were not dresses, but two shirts. And although inspired by cults and voodoo, such was the androgyny factor of this collection, it often seemed a little more Annie Hall, than Amish.
Oversized boyfriend jackets were teamed with baggy bermudas, long shirts with clerical collars were layered over slouchy, cropped chinos and XL, fine-gauge T-shirts bearing ram’s head graphics hung over loose-fit pencil skirts.
The cultish puritannical streak kicked in via high-necked, folkloric smock tops layered over wide-legged pants, with the pretty white lace shift dresses seemingly a nod to the symbolically 'pure' white peasant dresses that are seen in Creole voodoo - ditto the grey/black madras check theme, which was used in bermudas and even a trouser suit with shrunken blazer.
I read that Walker hoped at one stage to make the entire collection blue – another significant voodoo hue.
She certainly used a lot of it in, among a myriad of other blue-on-blue looks, one sweet microfloral blouse worn over electric blue slouch pants. And not forgetting a series of striking cobalt blue silk cocktail dresses. Walker might pander to androgyny - but she makes a wicked party frock.
Click here to see the full collection on wwd.com.
Click here to see Sonny Vandevelde's backstage shots.
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