The fashion world was pleasantly surprised when Kat Von D unveiled her first wave of Fall 2011 designs last year. No one seemed to suspect just how chic it would all be. (I, of course, knew it all along. Ahem.) Kat offers her “Red Label” collection as a cheaper alternative to the more elegant (translation: high priced) “White Label” collection. As I began to peruse the lookbook for the Spring/Summer collection “Treasure Coast,” my expectations were high.
As a die-hard Kat lover, this is painful for me to concede, but… I’m disappointed. Kat has said that she wanted this collection to appeal to a wider audience, and thus the aesthetic has been (drastically) toned down. So much that for me, the clothing has little appeal.
Granted, there are still looks that exude Kat Von D-ness. As the collections name would suggest, it appears that Kat and her design consultants wanted a pirate-slash-maritime theme. My favorites from the lookbook are as follows:
That said, some (or most) of the looks are drab and kind of tacky:
These garments, especially this in particular, are items that could have been designed by any old clothing company. I’m thinking Kathy Ireland, Jaclyn Smith, and all the other “every” woman labels. Things you arbitrarily buy for work just because you think they’re office appropriate, not because you really like them. I get the feeling that Kat put all her eggs in one basket with the first collection. Perhaps, not wanting have the Spring / Summer collection be too similar, Kat tried to expand her aesthetic. Instead, the aesthetic was almost lost, muddied with pieces that don’t fit in with the them and don’t feel true to the Kat Von D style. If you cut out all the tacky, humdrum looks, then you’d have a more cohesive, more personal collection, but then again, you’d only have a few looks.
Maybe I’ve just watched too much Project Runway, but it seems like there were two polar opposite designers – one designer is an evolved continuation of the debut collection – dark, tough, but still elegant. Kat has conceptual focus with the “good” looks, however, the “second” (imaginary) designer (presumably Kat’s “average” alter-ego) is trying to design for too broad of an audience, causing the output to be unfocused, uninspired, and bland. The “bad” looks just don’t seem like anything Kat herself would wear. I am guessing the schizophrenic differences between the looks may end up being what separates the “White Label” items from the “Red Label” items this time around. The Fall 2011 had cohesive variety; it really didn’t need to toned down.
To channel Reading Rainbow, “But don’t take my word for it!” View the entire lookbook here and see for yourself.