February 04, 2008
It was the high-necked frills of Victorian and Edwardian children's clothing that started Karen Walker off this season. "I love all those creamy nightgowns," said the designer backstage. "And we threw in some street elements," she added. While the sweetly ruffled and pintucked lookworked liberally here into blouses and dressesis an idea that has often been tapped in the past few years, Walker is a talented mix master with a vision that's wholly her own. The designer's turn-of-the-century-meets-street look had a youthquake vibe spanning decades, weaving in both sweetness and grooviness from the sixties and the layered, stripy tee-and-thermal insouciance of nineties grunge. The look gained some of Walker's characteristic whimsy with big, colorful my-gran-just-knitted-this pompom beanies, mittens, and even handbags. But not all was layered and accessorized to the hilt. On the simpler side was a terrific chic black textured silk sheath with ruffled shoulders. Walker's tailored piecesshrunken tuxedo jackets, blazers, and even slim trousersalso deserve special mention. With the recent opening of her pop-up shop at East Village store Den, New York may soon find that it hearts Karen Walker.