A new wave of young, emerging labels are lending a trendy edge to the American fashion capital, while staying true to its roots in practical, made-for-everyday chic. Keng Yang Shuen singles out three launched in the past year that you should have on your radar.
Unexpected details and gently oversized cuts give Summa’s otherwise timeless pieces a fashionable twist.
Summa founder Jane Chung’s (above) Donna Karan training is reflected in the brand’s timeless sophistication.
What: Independent label by Jane Chung, who co-founded DKNY with her mentor Donna Karan, and continued as a silent designer until Karan’s departure from her namesake house in 2015.
Why know it: Few labels possess the same ﬁnesse in balancing grown-up femininity and a modern, masculine edge when it comes to tailoring. Like Karan’s power suits and “Seven Easy Pieces”, which helped shake up the wardrobe of working women in the ’80s, Chung’s designs are sharp, polished and all-occasion ready. Her Fall 2017 collection, for example, is predominantly monochromatic (no need to agonise over colours, ladies) with streamlined, gently oversized cuts. Lending a fashion-forward twist: clever, arty elements such as asymmetric lapels, detachable rufﬂes and – laid over the sleeves of a slim blazer – sheer bishop sleeves.
Where to buy: Previously available for preorder on Moda Operandi (www.modaoperandi.com), it’s also available now on Matches Fashion (www.matchesfashion.com). Prices range from £730-£4,160 (S$1,330-$7,590).
Young (above left) injects glamour, effortlessness and street-style cool into ’70s bohemia.
What: The namesake label of industry wunderkind Bonnie Young (creative director at Donna Karan for 16 years; had a kids’ line that became a hit with New York’s art world glitterati – who bought pieces in XL for themselves).
Why know it: Young’s ’70s-tinged aesthetic is a fresh, statement-making take on the era’s bohemian glamour. Staples include plush knits and culottes in her signature rich hues, while ﬂoaty, ﬂoor-length dresses are swathed in graphic prints and sequins for evening wear. All are slip-on-and-go effortless, yet 100 per cent street style-ready.
Where to buy: Her extensive stockist list reads like a Rolodex of retail meccas (Barneys, Maxﬁeld, Ikram), with the nearest being Tokyo’s Ron Herman. Or buy online at Matches Fashion. Prices range from US$875-$6,500 (S$1,180-$8,760).
Classic American glamour made modern is what Catherine Holstein’s (above) Khaite is all about.
What: A knitwear and denim-focused label by former Gap senior knitwear designer Catherine Holstein.
Why: It’s what ’90s style icon Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy would wear if she were alive today. Pronounced “Kate”, the brand’s bestsellers, such as high-waisted, slim-cut jeans and stylishly slouchy knits, are all hallmarks of American sportswear. Making them even more covetable are its premium fabrics (think Japanese cotton and boiled, hand-knit cashmere) and intellectual yet sensuous designs that highlight areas like the collarbones and small of the back. Caroline de Maigret and Brit Marling are fans.
Where to buy: If you’re heading to Hong Kong, hit Lane Crawford. If you’re not, there’s Matches Fashion, the brand’s own website, and The Line (www.theline.com), the tightly curated New York-based luxury lifestyle store by Holstein’s It girl pal, Vanessa Traina. Prices range from $305-$1470.