Designer Catherine Holstein urges us to live in the moment and move on from the comfort of nostalgia; at least when it comes to dressing, as embodied in her fall/winter 2022 collection for Khaite. The lineup was a push and pull of hard edge imposed upon fluid forms, never swaying too severe in one direction or the other — a skill Holstein has perfected, making pieces from her collection on the top of wishlists of many editors, stylists, and fashion insiders.
“A profoundly personal wardrobe of nuance and strength,” this season was “designed to be cherished and made for now,” says Holstein in the show’s press release. And it was indeed. From a crisp, khaki double-breasted blazer with slouchy tailored pants to match with buttery leather jacket iterations (particular one to note this season is the cropped puffer version), Holstein encapsulates how women want to dress now — and, thankfully, with options for every occasion.
The runway truly had range: from the everyday outerwear that’ll surely be on heavy rotation (think an elegant take on corduroy reimagined in a sleek trench coat silhouette) to going-out ensembles like the ethereal, ruffled bandeau top juxtaposed with a zippered leather miniskirt; and formalwear, a perfect little black dress — an off-the-shoulder A-line design — and crocheted knitwear gown with hand-applied Swarovski crystals. The collection runs the gamut from cool-girl staples to refined classics.
“Reimagined and recombined, familiar elements are imbued with female strength, escaping frivolity through versatility born of intention,” notes Holstein on the functionality of the clothing. Acutely aware of the modern lifestyle the Khaite woman is living, the designer creates with her in mind, even when it comes to statement pieces like the silver leather high-waisted trousers, which can easily be part of one’s wardrobe staples. Made of soft, sumptuous leather that looks as though it is comfortable enough to wear all day long, it’s one that will be worn time and time again.
In this strong collection of wearable pieces, which from a commercial standpoint should translate on the sales floor, Holstein doesn’t neglect the importance of pushing boundaries with her designs. A standout being the masterful draping of a lilac tunic, sensually exposing the back, along with the miniskirt version, while risqué in length is relaxed in form thanks to the ease in fit and fabric. Another skillful technique on full display: the detailed smocking of blouses and gowns that, according to Holstein, “are open to interpretation — and the unique body — of the wearer.”
While a Khaite article of clothing is easily identifiable among the fashion pack, the accessories are distinct as well. A notable new silhouette this season is the inverted wedge heel which is sure to be the new “naked” sandal next fall. And of course, there are the bags; from the hobo, this season in silver leather, the vintage-inspired kiss lock closure Eloise, to the gold-framed minaudiéres “designed to fit after-dark essentials.” There is, in true Holstein fashion, a style for every affair — making this collection, in essence, for the woman on-the-go.