Chief creative officer of Kate Spade New York shares her tales of whimsy and guilty pleasures.
For your Autumn/ Winter ’15 line, you were inspired by Roald Dahl and Truly Scrumptious from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Why these two references? I love the whimsical nature of Roald Dahl tales. Fantastic Mr Fox was the inspiration for our woodland plaid story. Truly Scrumptious was my muse for the evening collections, chocolate box-style handbags, and confectionary-inspired pieces and colours. The bow detailing in the collection was also inspired by the girly glamour of Truly Scrumptious.
Which fictional character do you identify with the most?
Truly Scrumptious, of course!
Your favourite look from the collection?
It’s so hard to pick just one look. I love the bow back dress in pink and black colour blocks. It’s a chic cocktail dress that’s just like a gorgeous box of chocolates.
How would you summarise the collection in three words?
Whimsical, feminine, and graphic.
Of all the collections you’ve done at Kate Spade New York, which has been the most enjoyable?
The very first ready-to-wear collection I created – it was this a-hah! moment where we got to see what the Kate Spade New York girl looked like. It completely transformed the business and continues to excite me.
What is your all-time favourite trend?
Monocromatic print-on-print! I love to wear and style the Kate Spade New York collection with an overindulgence of print.
Who is the Kate Spade woman?
She is leading an interesting life. She’s a madcap heroine; not afraid to make a statement or stand out in a crowd.
Do you design with a muse in mind?
I love referencing style icons from the past – Jean Shrimpton, Twiggy, Catherine Deneuve, and Brigitte Bardot.
What currently inspires you?
Flowers! Kate Spade New York is known to have a strong floral theme.
What pieces should every woman have in her wardrobe?
A great coat, a leather A-line midi skirt, and pussy bow blouse.
What do you consider to be the biggest fashion faux pas?
Having ill-fitting clothes – never underestimate a good tailor.
2015 was the year to “Expect the Unexpected”. What is it for Kate Spade New York in the next year?
The Year of Imagination.
Tell us a little about the Spring/ Summer ’16 collection?
I was inspired by the freshness of spring. In New York, we have such harsh winters that when spring finally comes around, all you want to do is run out to the flower market. We used this flower theme throughout the spring collection, as a motif on bags and ready-to-wear, using lots of texture, prints, and lace, mixing it all together against a backdrop of crisp stripes. The colours were inspired by fairground rides – black, white, boardwalk beige, carousel pink, mint, and sunshine yellow.
If Kate Spade New York were a cocktail, what would it be?
Looks from Kate Spade New York’s Autumn/ Winter ’15 collection