Anne Klein was a pioneer of American sportswear who, in the seventies, pushed the idea (it's hard to believe it was ever rebellious) of mix-and-match separates for a workforce of women heading to the office in Charlie, and to Elaine's in a blazer and slacks.
This season marked the debut of the much-admired Isabel Toledo as the designer of the brand with the lion's-head logo, and there was a palpable feeling of goodwill in the room. If the collection didn't come out roaring, it did purr along apace, with solid pieces like a navy cashmere cardigan with an asymmetrical closure and a camel robe coat.
The Klein DNA was most directly obvious in a suede tunic and pant. Toledo's concept for Fall was "couture haberdashery," and it was well captured by several pleated dresses and a red cord coat-dress with a peplum. The sophistication of these looks perhaps spoke more to Toledo's own refined aesthetic than to Klein's more emphatically casual one. "I feel like a scientist in a lab," Toledo joked of her alchemical attempts to create new Anne Klein gold. Her debut can be seen as a useful experiment, with the promise of new invention to come.