September 09, 2006
Since separating from As Four two seasons ago, Kai Kühne has been struggling to forge his own identity. But today the designer showed a confident spring collection to an audience that included major retailers. Using a construction technique he dubbed "German origami,┐ Kühne found new ways to fold and shape fabrics into voluminous but wearable shapes, including a white blouson/bubble shirtdress look. Some of the designer's experiments with larger silhouettes, such as jackets with pendant pockets, were off the mark, but reimagined classics, like camisole tops and sweater dresses, were effective. So too were the draped pieces, including a T-shirt dress with a back slit. And Kühne's finale dress, a shimmering, ingeniously draped column of liquid silk worn by Darla Baker, showed a real individual stamp.