Here in the States, we don’t see or hear much about New Zealand-based Karen Walker day-to-day, as her quirky-cool wares are only in a few select doors–well, aside from seeing her sunglasses on the faces of every stylish girl around.
It’s during fashion week that we’re reminded that the designer is still thriving amongst a certain set of cool people. Girls like Becka Diamond, Hanneli Mustaparta and Leandra Medine made up the front row, as did some of Walker’s recognizable campaign stars, like 65-year-old Olio Lusso founder Linda Rodin (who might have been the coolest person there, in our opinion).
And the show itself was dripping with cool. It was immediately evident from the music and the colorful prints that Walker had taken inspiration from India. Those beautiful, intricate prints made their way onto slightly metallic, loose-fitting, short, sari-esque dresses and tops, as well as jackets, vests and slouchy trousers. Lightweight scarves and anoraks also featured a more subtle ethnic-looking print. There were also ultralight tunics and blazers and cropped pants, which when paired with the scarves, a flat shoe (either an oxford or a sneaker), and a super cute leather camera bag, looked like a perfectly chic tourist outfit.
Those pieces were mixed in with more modern (well, ’90s) items like basketball jerseys and sweatshirts that said “Utopia” on the front, pom-pom beanies, and collegiate-looking, oversized sweaters.
The layering was key, and there was more of it than we’re used to seeing in spring collections, but it worked. Combined with the loose, worn-in fit of the clothes, messy hair, and minimal makeup, it made for one of the realest collections we’ve ever seen during fashion week. As in, the models looked like real, normal people. Which we loved.