Sea Monsters

Review by Jessica Beresford We have a lot to be proud of in Karen Walker. Not only does she run with the big guns as the only Kiwi to show at New York Fashion Week, she holds her own celebrating her 20th solo international show. What gives Walker her renowned quirky edge is the inspiration she draws from literary and cinematic characters, such as her references to Iris and Betsy from The Taxi Driver in her current collection The American Girl, and her latest offering is no different. Motivated by Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea, ‘Sea Monsters’ draws inspiration from the character of Captain Nemo, a notorious explorer and son of an Indian Raja. This is evident in her latest show; instead of the floral theme of seasons past, Karen has adapted an Indian-inspired paisley with stand out metallics, golds and reds. This, combined with a psychedelic Rolling Stones vibe, creates the base for Walker’s trademark bold prints. The design of the garments has been built on from the reliable elements we have all grown to love; the patterned shirt, the man pants, the lighter-than-air knits and, of course, her statement frocks, but with a sixties mod approach. While renowned for her masculine-inspired designs, Walker’s collection balances this with enough feminine sophistication to celebrate the womanly form; conservative high necks are offset with cinched-in waists, short hem-lines and ruffles. Navy, as a favourite of the designer, features, along with a check and a purple koru-style print. No doubt Walker’s footwear and accessories will also draw attention; this collection sees another victorious collaboration with Beau Coops and the success of her frames is no secret, as a favourite of many a celebrity. Walker can applaud herself for yet another rousing collection with pieces that will be coveted on a worldwide basis. [gallery link="file" ids="1606,1607,1608,1609,1610,1611,1612,1613,1614,1615"] Slide show imagery from