After seasons of Madewell carrying Karen Walker ready-to-wear as its exclusive U.S. stockist, the two brands have taken their fashion relationship to the next level—with a co-designed collection that happily marries the designer’s flirty, whimsical ethos with the mall stalwart’s expertise in denim and elevated classics. The result is a 23-piece line-up that spotlights iconic prints (and three eyewear styles) rendered in new hues and feminine silhouettes, all against an incredible offering of dark indigo “Walker Wash” denim.
“Our collaborations always start with a love of a brand, we’re literally inspired by what our team is wearing and loving,” says Joyce Lee, head of design at Madewell. “The team and I are long-time fans of Karen Walker; we love the energy she brings to her designs, her use of color and prints, and the way she reimagines denim with a novelty twist.”
The process began with the Karen Walker team digging through the designer’s extensive design archives and compiling a whopping total of 300 possible styles that could work for the collection.
“Madewell came up with a fantastic edit that we’re delighted with. I love how Madewell’s design team interpreted the color in our print,” Walker tells CR, explaining that the chosen prints came from her Fall/Winter 2015 “Garden People” and Pre-Fall 2017 “Unicorn Riders” collections. “We wouldn’t have thought to have yellow as the starting point for its palette and it’s so right, especially against the indigo denim. I always love to see our work interpreted and re-interpreted, to see the ideas continue to live and tell stories. I felt very safe and excited to see our archives put into Madewell’s hands.”
There’s a dramatic bell-sleeved dress printed all over with bold blooms. A classic striped shirt is reimagined as a flowy ruffled oversize top. Busy floral-print blouses and fluid pants pop against a stunning marigold yellow color palette. And denim—the backbone of the entire collection—plays a pivotal role, tempering the sweet and diaphanous styles with an inky wash, frayed edges, and silhouettes that range from the unexpected (a belted off-the-shoulder dress, a tie-front cami, a wrap skirt, and streamlined overalls) to the familiar (classic denim jackets and timeless wide-leg jeans).
“We love a classic dark denim wash. I’m not a big fan of overwashing or distressing. I like a natural worn wash and Madewell agreed that this signature approach to our denim was important to have as the central approach to denim,” Walker explains. “We thought it was important that whatever we did was authentic to both Karen Walker and Madewell.”
Scroll through to see more from the Madewell x Karen Walker campaign.
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createdAt:Mon, 13 Aug 2018 15:37:20 +0000