Khaite Spring 2023 Ready-to-Wear Collection

In Khaite today you can reach across the track and shake hands with the person in front of you. Up close like this, the models fly by, but if you’re careful, you won’t miss a thing. Since designer Catherine Holstein specializes in the little details that turn everyday clothes and accessories into cult items, this was a useful set-up, to get a better look at – and break in – little strappy evening sandals with leather heels. Lucite Louis who are now in the running for shoe of the week.

Khaite is now one of New York’s must-have brands. Celebrities are jostling for seats and, if my Instagram feed is anything to go by, editors are eager to buy it and wear it. Holstein knows his audience. “This strong, stealthy, independent, New Yorker woman is who I draw for,” she said backstage.

For spring, she sent in her reliable mix of sequins and fringe in silk, leather and denim. Because she watched the 1990s David Lynch movies, Wild at Heart in particular, there was a fair amount of python feeling. Nicolas Cage’s character wears a python jacket in the film; Holstein printed the pattern on leather for exaggerated bombers and pencil skirts, and silk charmeuse for a voluminous peasant dress. A little python goes a long way, of course. The other new thing here was bubble skirts (a hot item this week). Their horsehair-reinforced belts rested on the crest of the hip bones under everything from the mesh bustier to the crystal-embroidered shirt. Dropped waistlines gave these outfits a cool attitude that was refined but not pretentious.

Because Holstein designs for herself and for women like her, she has the attitude aspect nailed, but that shouldn’t diminish her eye for proportions or the exacting lines of her tailoring. An elongated, strong-shouldered jacket with crystal-studded lapels was a looker. You’ll see it next fall with a tie-neck silk blouse, jeans and these little sandals.

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