17 February 2010

Reed Krakoff's Feminist Fatale

The Reed Krakoff show featured smart, crisp lines, unfussy layers, a camouflage palette, and evoked a Rosie the Riveter "We Can Do It!" toughness. Models filed down the runway in leather bombers, blue wool slacks, sweaters with reinforced elbows, and tightly laced boots, as though they were marching off to war, or out of an Army Navy store. But the mood wasn't somber. On the contrary, there was a carefree, independent feel that recalled Amelia Earhart.There was the pragmatic, no-nonsense sensibility of Katharine Hepburn.
There was a sporty, baseball tee-inspired sweater. Slick leather skirts tied snugly at the waist were reminiscent of welders' or woodworkers' aprons.
But in the midst of all this utility, there were hints at luxury. I wrote earlier about anticipating a fundamental Americanness in Reed Krakoff's design, and the history of America is not complete without the history of the fur trade, specifically beaver fur. Its presence on the runway recalled the New World's rugged past and exoticism. In combining this with Krakoff's utilitarian tailoring, the collection successfully drew together two ends of America's vast sartorial spectrum.The result of this melding is a wardrobe for a feminist fatale, and considering the reception the collection has received, it's a look we can expect to see more of.
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