Reed Krakoff, the creative director of Coach and the man responsible for turning it into a mega brand, has chosen to take the leap and create his own Collection. A year in the making, it debuted the other day to positive reviews and a few cheers. Reed's aesthetic is decidedly intellectual with a bent towards the art gallery crowd. These clothes show the results of a mind searching far and wide for a new and clever way to express modernity in fashion. I had the feeling that this was the work of a designer who sees himself as a rare creature not satisfied to start in the shallow end but to test his skills in the deep waters of the seasoned. There were some interesting pieces like a shearling or 2 and a couple of leather skirts and one fantastic pair of wide legged leather pants. One of the most compelling and successful items was a white dress with a strap and belt detail. It was clever, austere in its reference to Francisco Costa and just the sort of thing a confused older woman would wear to an important gallery opening. That's the overall vibe that came through looking at this collection: the gallery crowd. Reed Krakoff is known for his collection of important contemporary art and that passion and the mind set of the art enthusiast permeates his imagination. Whenever I go to galleries I notice the women and their choices of dress. Consistently, I find myself asking ,"Why?" and ;"What is she thinking?". Well Reed has given them even more clothes that will add to the confusion.
The styling was a bit redundant and annoying. It's as though everyone is using the same stylist. If another collection uses lace up hiking boots with heels and climbs to the knee, I'll start coughing hair balls. But I don't have hair to cough up, that shows you the degree of madness this stock styling has caused: sleeves of sweaters hanging over finger tips, fingerless knit gloves, arm leggings , leg leggings and droopy over sized blah sweaters, etc. etc. It all starts to look like a big queeny,Flash Dancing mess. Personally, I can't see the point of yet another sportswear collection unless it's really going to chart new territory. Re-runs of Commes des Garcons and Calvin with a touch of Rick Owens isn't going to cut it. Another impression of this collection was that of accessories becoming clothing, and the accessories paired with the collection getting canceled out. There were interesting ideas at play, but Reed could have taken a bit longer with them , refining and editing them, then filling in the gaps . We'll see what comes.