Reed Krakoff may have felt a little more pressure than usual, what with this being his first runway show since winning the CFDA’s coveted accessory designer of the year award in June. It’s fair to say he has a way with handbags — just ask any of the women with the unsightly drool stains standing outside his shop. But the man who helped revive Coach — and who started his own eponymous brand in 2010 — clearly wants to be known as more than a bag man.
This collection will go a long way toward proving that point.
Take his first look. There’s a lot to be learned from the first outfit that comes down the runway. First impressions count. Krakoff put forth a long coat — made of stocking jersey, so it’s lightweight, with sheer black sleeves — atop a sheer jersey polo and boxer short. And if the racing stripe down the side of the coat wasn’t racy enough, the coat was buttoned just near the top, so it flowed open to reveal a glimpse of abs.
More sheer pieces followed — but in unexpectedly sporty ways, like the satin and sheer jersey sweatshirt, or the track jacket, or in more fitted tanks and tops that revealed bras underneath. Long, languid dresses played with texture, alternating panels of satin, leather and sheer jersey. Most came in almond and sepia tones, which kept the looks restrained, classy, even with all that glimpsing of bras and such.
Oh, sure, there were bags, too — “track totes” of leather, python or alligator that folded over and could be carried like clutches.
Things juiced up near the end, with a final series of sheer “fresco” (that is, bright pink) ensembles, one of which suffered a technical malfunction — a perforated leather skirt with a curvy, scooped hem kept flapping and the hem got stuck folded upward as the model walked. The stiffness of the leather may just not work with that unusual hem shape.
Perhaps he should’ve just stuck with the tissue-light sheer fabrics for the skirts and dresses. Most of those hems on the sheer pieces came to mid-calf, which could’ve looked dowdy, but the ethereal quality of the fabric — and the way it swooshed and danced around legs — kept it all feeling sophisticated and sexy.