The Girl Next Door
Katie Holmes makes quiet debut at New York fashion week
The actress turned designer showed a small collection which suggested a preference for the understated
Guardian - UK
By Carlene Thomas-Bailey
Under the media glare which accompanied her recent divorce from Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes made a surprisingly demure debut at New York fashion week. Opting for a close-up presentation of just 14 oufits instead of a catwalk show, the actress was on hand to talk journalists through her collection for Holmes & Yang. It was range which, both in style and given the context, suggested caution from the actress turned designer.
Leather bomber jackets, blazers and camisoles were all teamed with Manolo Blahnik heels, the same shoe that Holmes' friend Victoria Beckham opted for in her collection this week. But that was where the similarity between the designers ends. The dresses, shorts and coats showcased by models on luminous white blocks clearly showed a preference for boyish tailoring with a feminine touch.
Holmes, alongside her design partner Jeanne Yang, walked around greeting editors and explaining their preference for a more intimate setting than your traditional catwalk show. "It's an honour to present here. It felt like a very natural step because it's not a whole big fashion show, it's a presentation. It reflects the way that we design and the way we've always run our business, which is very quietly and relaxed. So we felt that this was a natural step to have more of an audience and show more buyers", said Holmes, who was dressed in a black leather jacket, black trousers and a camisole from the collection.
On closer inspection, fabrics were noteworthy; a bomber jacket made with diamond pattern quilted leather and finished with custom twisted Cariaggi silk cashmere rib trim. Or the silk dress, Holmes's favourite, printed with delicate hand-painted spiders. The other selling point is that all the clothes are made in New York and Los Angeles. At a time when the garment district in Manhattan is suffering, this is a real coup for the line in terms of garnering local support.
Holmes also explained how she and Yang worked hard on the fit so that the clothes would suit a range of body shapes, gussets in the back of the jackets for example, to give the wearer more space to move in.
But despite the buzz and obvious attention to detail, Holmes & Yang didn't seem to offer anything new or daring in this, their first fashion week presentation since launching the brand in 2009. The pieces were clean, sharp and well-fitted, achieving what the designers said was "easy, timeless pieces that could carry from day to night". Unfortunately, with a price range that reaches as much as $3,100 ($1,920) for a leather cape, perhaps Holmes & Yang need to make the everyday more special to make their mark.