At Jenni Kayne's last L.A. show, Jared Leto and both Wilson brothers sat in the front row. Fast-forward a year and a half to her sophomore New York fashion week effort, and the eye candy was confined to model Jessica Stam and a pair of Hearst sistersa lovely enough sight, though not on the level of that Left Coast trio. But what Kayne has lost in celebrity sparkle by bringing her collection east, she has gained in editorial attention. Backstage before her presentation, the 23-year-old Angeleno appeared happy, if a little nervous about the tradeoff. "I want to do this like a real New Yorker," she said, alluding to her new focus on outerwear but also implicitly acknowledging the increased spotlight.
How did she fare? Well, that outerwear stood up. A navy leather trench and a brown leather bolero with short sleeves looked great, and should the gods of global warming allow the temperature to dip below freezing next winter, her woolen coats with mink collars (these much more uptown in feeling) will keep the chill out. A fox vest, with the laid-back seventies vibe she worked for spring, was equally luxe. If her collection lacked focus, especially the suiting, which veered from a sleek update of YSL's smoking to flaring gauchos, blame it on growing pains. That, and perhaps listening to too many voices other than her own. Her dresses, on the other hand, were on message. They appeared in miniature prints for day and beads for night, and were belted in a way that these days spells cool everywhere.