September 24, 2007
It's clear where Clare Waight Keller fits into the general picture. She's a young British designer who, to judge from her easy, sporty-looking collection, is working the same kind of groove Phoebe Philo carved out at Chloé or, possibly, the enhanced street-y sorts of looks Christopher Bailey was doing before he made Burberry internationally glossy. That doesn't mean Waight Keller is derivative; she's just focused on putting together realistic pieces, like cropped suede bombers, short-sleeved taffeta parkas, chino skirts, long cotton shorts, and wide-legged slouchy pants. "I just want it to be young and fresh and to have a real ease," she said. That came across in her billowy cotton print sundresses and in the fine-gauge knitsgood for layering, and a strong selling point for a house that is based, of course, on its heritage of sweaters.