Norma Kamali continues to build on the wardrobe themes she launched last season. Working life may be changing, but post-lockdown our lives are more organized again, facing new levels of uncertainty. It calls for new approaches, and maybe some new, reliable wardrobe pieces that can help bring out our best selves.
It’s early fall, but it’s already clear that many designers are tightening up their offerings and making them a little more dressy. Kamali has some thoughts on this: “As baby boomers, our job is to break every rule because everything that existed before didn’t allow self-expression. So we did, we broke the rules, and it allowed self-expression up to the nth degree. But we’re in such a different time now, where we’re thinking about life and death literally, in real time, so you need to have a certain decorum to balance it out,” said the designer. “I think women feel very, very, challenged in many ways, but how we present ourselves is a very big decision we make … if we make the wrong choices in how we communicate, we definitely do something to ourselves A lot of damage” — clothing and more.
As with last season, Kamali is thinking about modular dressing, splitting the suit into sections so you can choose to match the jacket with, say, three lengths of skirt of your choice, or two styles of trousers , or various shirts. For those who want to invest in a total look, like a skirt and a jacket, Kamali says she offers special bundle deals, “We put things together and you get a special deal,” she explains.
The actual design of the Kamali remains fairly static from classics like the parachute. They’re back in the fall, looking stunning in white shirts and blazers. The collection is nothing like what we’ve seen before due to the choice of prints and color palette. Kamali favors prints like camouflage, plaid and mini leopard, which she thinks can work as neutrals, as she does with fall’s autumnal earth tones like army greens, warm browns and tans. The latter two were inspired in part by the designer’s four-legged friend Wally Kamali.