KENNETH COLE Fall 2014 Runway & backstage images. Photographed by VITAL AGIBALOW. ↓
FALL/WINTER 2014-15 COLLECTION
Without question we live in a world today where modern technology allows us to control how we are perceived more than ever
before. Through social media, we can edit our lives and curate our personas. An Instagram feed is not a fly-on-the-wall
documentary – it is a director’s cut. This season, the Kenneth Cole fashion-show presentation asks: “What’s real and what’s
Of course, designers know all about creating personas – what else are fashionable clothes than a way of projecting an image of
who we are, or would like to be, and what we think and where our cultural or urban-tribal allegiances lie.
Kenneth Cole has always been fascinated by the mash-up of old and new, formal and casual, masculine and feminine, East and
West – in other words, the look engendered by (and suited to) the melting pot that is his hometown of New York City. In the
Kenneth Cole Fall/Winter 2014-15 Collection, these cross-references result in a vision of a contemporary Urban Gypsy – a
woman, or man, whose life is dynamic and shifting, and whose clothing reflects this and a magpie tendency to collate a
wardrobe made up of references to different cultures.
Layers of contrasting or complementary fabrics conjure up an eclectic silhouette where volumes are used to surprise. Fabrics
are fluid and prone to movement – nylon and coated tweeds add to the modern strain running through the collection. A play on
masculine and feminine sees pinstripes applied to womenswear, even making an appearance on knits and chiffon. Tradition
and innovation meet in modern fabrications of plaids and herringbones, while there is a constant interplay between the soft and
Although this collection has its roots – as all Kenneth Cole collections do – in the energetic and cosmopolitan streets of
Manhattan, there is a nod to another city in another time. Paris in the Nineties was a place where the traditional Rive Gauche
culture came face-to-face with the rising stars of Japanese fashion – a marriage that saw esoteric, Eastern, sporty minimalism
embraced by the home of European fashion classicism. In a similar way, this season Kenneth Cole celebrates a New World
evolution of fashion, where jersey takes over from materials; technical fabric treatments like backed crepe add casual
modernity; leather, shearling and printed pony provide substance; and sportswear hoods become newly elegant.
The whole look is executed in a monotone – black, white and grey dominate, with touches of stronger highlights like chili red.
The impression is of a subdued pewter color palette, as if everything has been mediated by an Instagram filter.
The freedom of global travel and the inspiration this provides lie at the root of this collection. The Urban Gypsy employs
layering for warmth and comfort, and this aesthetic brings a number of styles into play within the same outfit – wrap skirts
over pants, nylon jackets over knits, shearling over jersey, combined with hats and scarves and hoods.
Materials and textures are mixed throughout – even plain fabrics have textures. Pinstripes, plaids and herringbones are given
fresh treatments and applied to unusual fabrics like jersey and chiffon. These traditionally masculine patterns add to the sense
that men’s fabrications are being applied to womenswear. The pinstripe shirt combined with matching pants, for example, is a
modern play on a man’s suit – a workplace classic reimagined for a woman. Embroidery running throughout the collection
adds the appearance of artisanal craftsmanship.
There is extra volume in many of the pieces, creating a sense of movement. When walking, these clothes flow. Skirts are
longer, silhouettes are longer – this is part of the spirit of travelling in comfort. Warmth and protection also come from
leather, shearling and printed pony, and the leather motorcycle jacket, in particular, suggests a rugged edge to the look. This is
reinforced by the chunky menswear-inspired boots and shoes with their tough soles, and the bags, backpacks, slings, necklaces
and belts contribute to the impression of a modern, practical,
LOOK 1: Wool pinstripe double-breasted jacket; chiffon pinstripe wrap-around halter top; wool pinstripe pant; snakeskin belt;
felt hat; leather/knit fingerless gloves; black leather lace-up combat boot with snakeskin heel.
LOOK 2: Crepe pinstripe oversized shirt; crepe pinstripe wrap shirt; knit pinstripe flared skirt; knit pinstripe sweatpant; felt
hat; leather/knit fingerless gloves; black leather cell phone case; white leather buckled bootie with lug sole.
LOOK 3: Leather and snakeskin moto jacket; crepe shirt with leather collar; wool pinstripe wrap skirt; wool pinstripe straight
pant; felt hat; leather/knit fingerless gloves; snakeskin shoulder bag; leather lace-up bootie with snakeskin heel.
LOOK 4: Coated-tweed top with zipper detail; crepe electric-print halter top; two-tone beaded collar; calf-hair static-print
flared skirt; felt hat; leather/knit fingerless gloves; printed calf-hair shoulder bag; red leather combat boot.
KEY FABRICS AND PRINTS: Coated tweed, satin-back crepe, chiffon, leather, shearling and pinstripes.
KEY COLORS: chili red, cool grey, black and white.
KEY ACCESSORIES: Sporty lug soles make their appearance in both low and high heels, creating a classic Kenneth Cole
street vibe. Lace-up boots and booties represent a modern twist on the traditional combat boot. Black and white creates stark
contrast in the footwear, while the use of brushed leathers on modern silhouettes introduces an artisan look, without detracting
from the contemporary styling – in particular, an exposed zipper-tape enhances the references to sport-tech. The range of
handbags includes a sporty duffle bag with multiple compartments and detachable strap (enabling different ways to carry it), a
soft lamb-leather backpack with leather-covered chain, and a soft lamb-leather shoulder bag with covered chain detail. There
are snake leather oversized clutches, and printed pony cross-body fanny packs. A new shape is the “north/south” messenger
bag in a combination of printed pony and leather. Small snake-leather necklaces designed to accommodate cell phones and
small gadgets have gunmetal snake chains, while leather belt bags feature metallic details. For jewelry, there is an
architectural cuff in two-tone metal (gunmetal and silver), gunmetal snake chain necklaces, and a two-finger ring with
architectural elements and resin stones.
There is an explosion of menswear patterns – pinstripes, herringbones and tweeds – and playful abstract graphic treatments of
fabrics. Texture has an important role too – shearling, leather and hairy fabrics abound, creating volume. The focus on pattern
and texture adds interest to a color palette that is resolutely subdued and masculine. Black, white and grey are infused with
shades of port, dark red, and this tight spectrum extends to the accessories too.
The mood is casual and relaxed, with tailoring mixed with street- and sports-style pieces; luxury sweatpants, detachable zip-
out hoods, and winter shorts stand out, while warm outerwear (parkas and wool overcoats in particular) forms the basis of
This is a collection designed for living in, for an on-the-go lifestyle. Comfort fabrics mix with tough, rugged leather jackets
and walking boots to present a very twenty-first century vision of how men dress. It’s not about the office, or the weekend.
It’s about the extraordinary variety of modern life.
LOOK 1: Neoprene/shearling coat; wool pinstripe single-breasted jacket; woven button-front shirt; silk tie; wool pinstripe
pull-on pant; black leather buckled boot.
LOOK 2: Wool pinstripe double-breasted blazer; woven button-front shirt; silk tie; wool inverted-pleat pant; felt hat;
leather/knit fingerless gloves; black leather backpack; black leather
LOOK 3: Tweed car coat; herringbone single-breasted blazer; woven button-front shirt; silk tie; knit pinstripe drawstring pant;
hooded snood; black leather tote; leather/calf-hair lace-up wallaby.
LOOK 4: Wool shawl-lapel single-breasted jacket; woven spread-collar shirt; silk/leather bow tie; knit tuxedo pant; black
leather lace-up/Velcro boot.
KEY FABRICS AND PRINTS: pinstripes, herringbone, tweed, shearling, leather, neoprene, mixed media, iridescent suiting,
KEY COLORS: black, white and grey, shades of port, dark red and ink.
KEY ACCESSORIES: Bags are soft and easy to carry, with comfortable handles and shoulder straps. Boots are high on the
ankle, with military-style rugged soles, while shoes are plain and substantial, and like the boots, also feature lug soles with a
Photographed by – VITAL AGIBALOW
SOURCE – VITALPHOTO nyc