Fashion / Style File

Fashion Week Show Recreates Pretty Woman‘s Polo Match Scene — and Celebrities Can’t Get Enough

Escada Goes Julia Roberts Big for its 40th

BY // 09.19.18

NEW YORK — Escada doesn’t normally stage full-scale runway shows. But to celebrate its 40th anniversary, the luxe German label hopped across the pond and pulled out all the stops to stage a once-in-a-lifetime presentation at New York Fashion Week. Here’s what happened:

The atmosphere: Escada officials took over the mammoth Park Avenue Armory (where Tom Ford and Marc Jacobs regularly show) and turned it into a racetrack, with a runway of real grass that snaked around a picket fence splashed with bright colors. The scene paid homage to founders Margaretha and Wolfgang Ley who photographed one of their earliest collections at a racetrack. After spotting a spirited horse named Escada, they decided to name their company after it.

Runway looks: Global design director Niall Sloan, who left the British brand Hunter to join Escada last year and previously designed at Burberry, played with the racetrack theme by featuring slouchy pants and lounging-around shirts in colorful jockey silks, leather skirts and cashmere sweaters bonded with racing stripes, and Bermuda shorts and oversized shirt dresses in equestrian prints.

Inspired by the polo match scene in the classic film, Pretty Woman, Sloan reinterpreted the sleeveless brown dress with white polka dots worn by Julia Roberts — this time in variations, including a dress, slacks, blouse, and two-piece suit with pushup sleeves. He also features ’90s-era big-shouldered power suits in bold shades of neon gold and eye-popping fuchsia. But for the pretty woman who doesn’t want to be that out there, pastel tweeds are more in keeping with what the loyal Escada customer is accustomed to.

Logo crazy: Venerable brands like Chanel and Louis Vuitton have had success in incorporating their logo into merchandise and Escada is aiming to emulate them big time in this collection, with everything from mini-skirts to blouses, pantsuits, and rain slickers emblazoned with colorful Escada lettering. Sloan also has adapted the new house emblem — a golden heart adapted from a vintage Escada perfume bottle — as a recurring motif on clutches, crossbody bags, fanny packs, belts, and necklaces. Vintage-inspired gold chain belts with Escada letters and a “double E” logo also give a shout out to the brand.

New footwear: In what must be a first for the longtime label, Escada introduced pastel high-top sneakers, worn with silk pajama-style suits and oversized shirtdresses.

The crowd: On the front row were The Vampire Diaries star Ian Somerhalder, sporting a fedora, and his wife Nikki Reed in an Escada herringbone double-breasted suit, Kate Bosworth in an Escada polka dot ruffled cocktail dress, Amber Valetta, Olivia Palermo, Westworld co-star Angela Sarafyan, and Disney star Skai Jackson.

In Houston, the Escada collection is available at Elizabeth Anthony.

Part of the Special Series:

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