For the most part, Karen Millen has been broadly recognised for its evening dresses; always on the steeper side of the high-street, but accordingly designed to suggest high-end. Where the brand fell down in the past were separates and casual wear.
For their most recent collection, this attention has become more of an ardour. I was thrilled at their recent Press Preview to see cute tailored shorts with a definite nod to Stella McCartney’s tropical summer offerings, and a Peter Pilotto-inspired shell top (Pictured 1. €115) that makes for perfect office-wear teamed with tailored white trousers, or weekend-wear worn over turquoise skinnies or black leather pants.
Another hero piece from the collection was a butter soft biker jacket (Pictured 2. €399). The dark tan colour is ideal for contrasting against the season’s luminous colour palette, as well as coordinating seamlessly with summer-staple muted dessert tones.
The Karen Millen woman is ultra-feminine so lace is always a staple season after season. This time around though, it had definitely matured to a more high-fashion interpretation: heavy embroidered lace came in refreshing daisy yellow tones and punctuated white a-line minis. Elsewhere, broderie anglaise collars conjured up images of Louis Vuitton’s candy cane collection and gave the collection a greater awareness of what’s going on in haute design houses.
The accessories department was also treated to a high-fashion over-haul this season, with one standout piece being a very on-trend snakeskin and tribal patterned clutch (Pictured 3. €210) that is very similar to the Anya Hindmarch Red Gracie Sea Snake bag (€1,100). Smart phone and iPad cases in primary colours with stud detailing (Pictured 4. €115) are a novel addition to the accessories department.
The new Karen Millen woman appears to be a little more clued in to what’s on trend and how to work that with versatility into all aspects of our life; from the board room to the bar.
Effortlessly embodying the cool, new KM woman is Tali Lennox, who is the face of the High Summer 2012 campaign. All in all, things appear to be on the up in Karen Millen.
Have a browse at some of the lookbook shots below and be sure to take a visit to your nearest outlet within the next two weeks.
– Gillian Brett