Our Fave Kiwi Karen Walker Gets Serious For Fall/Winter '09

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We always expect whimsy and charm when we go to a Karen Walker show. And yes, there was some of both on display at her Altman Building unveiling today. But this collection was more composed, serious, and uncompromising than previous seasons. As usual, Walker's craft was apparent. This time, however, she shifted toward classic Coco Chanel forms, heather gray shades, neutrals, sharp shoulders, and far less humor. The jaquard silk jackets were lovely, as were the "shattered china" silk print dresses (a wild gesture that hinted at her ongoing use of bold, floral prints). But there was a strong business aspect to this outing. Black bowed dresses were darkly gorgeous while charcoal gray trench coats were sharp, respectable, and definitely wearable. There was also a clear edginess underlying the show—the broken pearl necklace motif shirts being the crowning example. It was a welcome expansion of Walker's emotional range—not that she didn't already have our hearts.
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