Khaite recently moved into a new office in lower Manhattan. On the 9th floor of the NoHo building, the corner space offers east and south views of the block, as well as the nearby penthouses. You can’t claim a New Yorker location. That suits designer Catherine Holstein, whose style is inspired by the dark glamor of cities circa the 80 and 80 years. “That independent, New York, strong, private woman — that’s who I’m designing for,” she said at her September show.
The Khaite Pre-Fall Collection is very popular in this spirit. In these moody photos, Vittoria Ceretti models double-breasted jackets, lace sheathed silk slip dresses and long leather trench coats. Cosmopolitan evening dress codes haven’t fluctuated much from decade to decade, even as Netflix and the chill have replaced nightclubs as city dwellers’ preferred pastimes.
One surprise was the collection’s painted lip print; it brightened up the midi slip dress with cheeky whimsy. This was an earlier collection, and Holstein put more emphasis on bedtime than she did on the show. Particularly convincing silhouettes—likely to be seen in the office she sees out of the window—include a long V-neck cashmere sweater whose hem gathers the precise folds of the underlying skirt, and an organza horse A ball-neck top sits atop another breezy pleated skirt. Holstein made all of her leather pieces out of wool, which is easier on the purse, and an oversized bomber jacket in wool was heavy on the zipper detail and looked good.
The designer has a secret December wedding, and here are two looks that could appeal to a Kate-loving bride. The first was a pleated white mesh that was slim and sexy; the second was sheer organza and grosgrain over a delicate petticoat. She also had “something blue,” in the form of low-heeled leather pumps and playful fleece-lined plastic sandals.