New York Fashion Week: Could Ohne Titel be the next Donna Karan?
The most exciting thing I saw on the runway Saturday was the Ohne Titel collection. Bringing a new kind of cool to draped silk, velvet and washed leather separates by working them with athletic mesh and knit, designers Flora Gill and Alexa Adams challenged the boring vernacular of office suiting.
Could we be looking at the next Donna Karan?
The designers, who met at Parsons School of Design and have stints at Helmut Lang and Karl Lagerfeld between them, launched their line in 2006, and they have been on an upward trajectory ever since, garnering nominations and awards from the Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation and the Council of Fashion Designers of America.
For fall, they worked in a palette of black, moss green, sand and pewter to create a number of separates that could find a place in any woman's wardrobe -- lean, asymmetrically cut soft leather and ribbed knit jackets, cropped shearlings, combo leather and knit leggings. Their version of the suit was a moss-colored silk blazer worn with silk pants that were slouchy up top, spiraling into ribbed knit at the bottom of the legs.
Although they cited the 19th century as inspiration, there was nothing retro about a techno collage, multicolored mesh dress, a sand leather and silk cowl neck top or a silk drawstring skirt with black leather front pouch pocket that brought motocross to mind.
After all, these are clothes for women on the move. And let's hope this is the collection that brings this label to a wider audience. In Los Angeles, Ohne Titel (German for "untitled") is stocked at Zainab and Satine.
--Booth Moore in New York
Photos: Ohne Titel's fall 2010 show in New York. Credit: Peter Stigter and Jonas Gustavsson / For The Times