Despite the ongoing question marks regarding Paule Ka’s appointment of both a new CEO and creative lead (founder Serge Cajfinger occupied both roles until he announced his departure last June), the brand’s Pre-Fall offering came off with focus and finesse. At its heart was the usual rotation of 1960s staples with some smart modifications: An ivory trapeze dress appeared spliced with a black pleated back, giving it welcome kick, and a filmy coating brought novelty to a salt-and-pepper tweed. Prints seemed fresher this season, particularly a tartan jacquard rendered like splotchy cake frosting. Another crisp jacquard in fuchsia and scarlet camouflage seemed gutsy for an otherwise proper cocktail dress, while a black silk radzimir windbreaker dressed up with ruffled pockets conveyed a similar irreverence. Even without Cajfinger, Paule Ka holds tight to certain Parisian tropes; this time, a stylized beret. Conversely, the accessories leaned too heavily toward what’s already peaked on the market, from the sturdy bags with the brand name printed in gold to the fashion sneakers. Once Paule Ka gets its top brass in place, the team should realize that they can resonate on their own terms. For the meantime, at least, there’s just enough originality to please.

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