Fashion Show Reviews

Karen Walker Pre-Fall 2019 Womenswear Collection – New York

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August 2021 Sales (LATEST)


The way designers approach intellectualism in fashion differs significantly. Miuccia Prada, for instance, challenges stereotypical ideas of beauty and proposes that an ugly sort of uniqueness is a more beautiful concept. While Phoebe Philo, on the other hand, during her heyday at Celine, proposed that stark minimalism was enough to dress an intelligent woman, without any frills necessary. But for Karen Walker, she touched upon the intellectual sport of chess to present her idea of smart fashion. Her Pre-Fall 2019 Collection, entitled “Onwards and Upwards,” was inspired by two premier female chess players of the 20th century—the renowned Sonja Graf of the 1930s and the beloved Lisa Lane of the 1960s. Graf’s fearless masculine style was most prominent in Walker’s precise tailoring, offering some of the most finely-cut outerwear she has displayed in years. While Lane’s flirty femininity was captured through the polka-dotted pieces and the overlaying of sheer black (also polka-dotted) tulle and chiffon over little black ensembles for the evening. This ‘Karen Walker’ woman definitely has two sides to her, and whether she sports one or the other, they don’t make her any less intelligent than she already is.


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Photo: Courtesy of Karen Walker

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