Is Khaite bringing sexy back? It’s not a key word that’s top-of-mind when reviewing the brand’s posh repertoire, but it certainly coursed through the pre-fall collection. Designer Catherine Holstein is aligned more with aspirational takes on modern-day romance, through strong denim, knitwear and tailoring categories.
“As a female designer particularly, I’ve always shied away from the word ‘sexy’ to describe anything that I do,” she said on a call, adding: “Now I’m feeling like sexy in capital letters was absolutely the word I was feeling for. More skin, and going in a more Gothic direction.”
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The result was a sultry blend of edgy femininity through sheer dresses, straight necklines, clingy silhouettes and tons of minidresses. “I really wanted short short short, so we went there,” she said. There was range here, too, from a baby-doll dress with a sweetheart neckline to a body-con tulle mini with diamond-lined plunge neck. “I’m just feeling proportionally, I don’t want to see a big men’s suit anymore on a woman. I want streamlined, I want slim, I want everything to be really fitted.”
That’s not to say there weren’t great men’s wear derivatives tailored for women. She indulged in oversize coats, and took dandy style cues from British male musicians in the Sixties. Foremost here was a tapestry-like jacquard cut into bell-bottoms and free-flowing ruffle blouses. Loosely cut trousers and enviable denim were grounded by the 15 shoe styles, ranging from a sexier red round-toe satin kitten heel to more functional and comfortable leather sandals and roll-up ballerina flats.
Launch Gallery: Khaite Pre-Fall 2020