February 14, 2012 New York
There were shades of Marlene Dietrich—a frequent name-check this week—in jersey siren gowns and a natty sharp-shouldered, wide-leg jumpsuit. Kamali's usual pop of black-and-white came in an oversize houndstooth (adorable in a lean midi dress) and a sweet polka-dotted boiled wool (in a belted coat as soft as a sweater). A body-con black dress with diamond cutouts running up the sides is something you could see a cool girl like Giovanna Battaglia picking up; the same for a tricolor faux fur chubby, which was just beastly good fun.
There's always a sense with Kamali that you've seen these clothes before. (Working a forties-era reference into clothes rooted in the eighties isn't much of a leap.) But wowing the fashion set with a new vision every season has never been her priority. Start the designer talking and she's got a million things to say about making women's lives better, whether it's through her Wellness Café or her new nice-price venture KamaliKulture, which sells basics from swimwear to skirt suits, all under $100. It's all sold online and not just for a limited time. New days indeed.