As Said By

VICTORY GARDEN

This entry posted on February 10th, 2007

After eight seasons in London, well-travelled New Zealander Karen Walker is ready for new frontiers. The UK capital’s loss was New York’s gain as she showed a spring collection that was long on the skewed charm that’s her signature. She claimed inspir­ation from Land Girls (the women who worked the farms in England while their menfolk were away at the front during World War II) and there were discernible echoes of the forties in the floral prints, puff sleeves and baggy pants. But Walker’s real focus, as always, was on the hybrid of female and male. It’s that fashion cliché about the woman who slips into her boyfriend’s clothes in the morning, except in Walker’s capable hands, it feels fresh and slightly subversive. In this collection, for instance, floral bloomers were worn with a pinstriped waistcoat, an organza dress was topped by a net T-shirt, and neon nylon parkas added a mod boy element. The look is sexy with a coolly ambiguous twist, and it’s easy to see why Walker has galvanized a stellar clientele of young Hollywoodites. If the show occasionally played like Karen’s Greatest Bits for people who know about her, it was a smart way to introduce her work to those who don’t.”
 — Tim Blanks, style.com

Ms Walker’s clothes fit into that chaotic, boy-girl inform­ality we’ve seen for a while, but she has a natural sense of femin­inity that beats a lot of better known labels. She offered oversize jackets with slouchy pants, crisp cotton minitunics over shorts and puffed organza blouses, and some patchy-looking knits with vegetable faces. She keeps everything simple and fun, but she doesn’t shirk on creativity. ”
 — Cathy Horyn, New York Times

It won’t take long for Karen Walker to be as popular over there as she is over here if she carries on like this. New Zealand’s most famous designer took to the New York runway for the first time today with a collection that brilliantly combined her season’s inspir­ation — wartime British land girls — with the boys-clothes-for-girls that she wins us over with again and again. The clothes were simple but inter­esting — a perfect hook for those New Yorkers unfamiliar with the Walker signature. Shots of peacock blue or bubblegum pink nylon made up mini skirts with elast­icated waist­bands that were as modern as their puffed floral counter­parts were vintage, while huge string vests embroidered with a vegetable face (tomatoes for eyes, carrot for nose and pea pod for mouth), and downright macho oversized man suits made this a collection that was humorous, innocent, girlish and strong all at the same time. ”
 — Dolly Jones, vogue.co.uk, vogue.com

In her New York Fashion Week debut, New Zealander Karen Walker sent out a fresh, irrev­erent mix of liberty florals and baggy boyfriend trousers, accented with pops of neon color. Already a darling of the downtown set, Walker will surely expand her fan base with this standout collection. ”
 — Teen Vogue’s Top 10: Fashion News Director Jane Keltner Picks Her Favorite Collections From New York Fashion Week

Karen Walker is one of my favourite designers because her collec­tions always manage to strike a balance between wearab­ility and progressive fashion. You never feel like a fashion victim in her clothes, in fact you feel like the coolest girl on the block. If I could be any girl, I would want to be a karen walker girl! ”
 — Aya T. Kanai, Senior Fashion Editor, Nylon and Nylon For Guys, U.S.A.

New Zealand-based designer Karen Walker may have jumped the pond this season — for the past four years shes shown as part of London Fashion Week, and her show at the Altman Building on Saturday, September 9th marked her New York runway debut — but her effort­lessly cool, street– and menswear influ­enced style lost nothing in trans­lation. ”
 — Lauren David Peden, Fashion Wire Daily

Inspired by 40s war gardens, Karen Walker offered a louche and charming wardrobe for the latter day Victory Girls that was both sweet and tongue in cheek ”
 — Women’s Wear Daily, U.S.A.

This weekend the cult designer Karen Walker also showed in New York, rejecting her usual London base. ”
 — Hadley Freeman, The Guardian, U.K.