Kate Spade mushroom toadstool handbag. (Photo by Clifford Pugh)
Kate Spade floral dress, two-tone top handle handbag. (Photo by Andres Burgos )
Kate Spade floral tie blouse with fringe trim, striped skirt, tweed handbag. (Photo by Andres Burgos )
The Kate Spade Enchanted garden featured purses in a hedgehog and mushroom shape. (Photo by Clifford Pugh)
Kate Spade lace mini-dress in a variety of colors. (Photo by Andres Burgos )
Kate Spade long yellow sweater dress, top handle two-tone handbag. (Photo by Andres Burgos )
Kate Spade embroidered floral belted dress.(Photo by Andres Burgos )
There's a rabbit purse in Kate Spade's Enchanted Garden. (Photo by Clifford Pugh )
Kate Spade sequined floral sleeveless dress. (Photo by Andres Burgos )
Kate Spade yellow fringe trimmed skirt, KS sweatshirt, yellow coat, beige handbag and shoes. (Photo by Andres Burgos )
Kate Spade pink rabbit-shaped handbag. (Photo by Clifford Pugh )
Kate Spade tweed suit with matching handbag. (Photo by Andres Burgos )
Kate Spade yellow lace long sleeve dress with covered buttons, two-tone handbag. (Photo by Andres Burgos )
Model Karen Elson in a Kate Spade Victorian-inspired blouse with lace detail at collar and arms. (Photo by Andres Burgos )
NEW YORK — Instead of staging a full-scale runway show at New York Fashion Week, Kate Spade New York creative director Nicola Glass created a trippy enchanted forest at the brand’s Park Avenue headquarters and invited the fashion press to roam through the wonderland at their leisure.
Glass came up with the theme “as a place of discovery, where everything can be seen in a new light.” “Every piece has something special,” Glass continues. “There’s magic in putting together an outfit you love.”
Kate Spade is known for its novelty handbags, so for her seventh collection, Glass sprinkled an array of new offerings around the Alice in Wonderland setting. Hidden in a garden of flowers and greenery were a handbag in the shape of a red-and-white toadstool mushroom, bunny bags in shades of pink and yellow with contrasting ears, and a handbag that resembled a metal-studded hedgehog (although it probably looks more like an armadillo to anyone from Texas).
Also on display were sparkly mushroom-shaped rings, oversize brooches shaped like the brand’s spade logo, and top-handle handbags stitched with crocheted garden scenes.
While the accessories are a crucial part of the brand, the Kate Spade clothing line has increasingly become an important part of overall sales. This collection feels considerably more grown-up and sophisticated than some previous efforts. Tweed suits, double-breasted jackets and wide-lapel blazers are prominently featured and a variety of dresses that can be worn to the office and transition into nighttime events are a big part of what’s being offered for fall.
Dresses and blouses with Victorian-inspired lace collars and covered buttons are among the collection’s most beautiful pieces. Other choices include fringe-trimmed skirts and tie-blouses, and dresses in bright stripes, expressive floral patterns, animal print or classic polka dots.
Coats also range from the serious — traditional winter wools with a faux fur collar — to the showy — a quilted puffer jacket in a shiny leopard print.
Even though this collection is more sober than some previous efforts, it nevertheless maintains the sense of playfulness that the brand is known for. A khaki trench features psychedelic florals under the collar so the wearer can flash a different attitude when she wants. And pastel sweatshirts are emblazoned with the initials “KS” in dotted florals for a more casual, fun feeling.
While the presentation featured the designs on static mannequins, documentary-like behind-the-scene videos taken during a lookbook photo shoot featuring Karen Elson and other models played on a continuous loop on a big screen, showcasing how the clothes move.