THE year is 2018, a poignant moment in fashion that symbolises a new beginning of a feminine and fashionable proposition, where American luxury fashion house Kate Spade New York introduced its new creative director Nicola Glass.
Under the artistic direction of Glass, the brand took the timely opportunity to launch its first global retail expression in Singapore to celebrate Glass’ debut Spring/Summer 2019 collection.
Located on level one of ION Orchard mall, the “Unlock Your Heart” pop-up space hit all the right notes of the new brand vision.
In her reimagining of the brand, Glass has ushered in an air of sensuality and seductiveness, polished ease with a refined, eclectic approach to colour that honours the brand’s origins while evolving its existing codes of the house in conceptual and sophisticated new ways.
The star-studded celebration hosted by Kate Spade New York global CEO Anna Bakst was joined by a coterie of international fashion socialites such as Juliana Evans (Malaysia), Rebecca Lim (Singapore), Jessica Mila (Indonesia), former 2NE1 member Sandara Park (South Korea) and others - all dressed to the nines in full Kate Spade ensembles.
The 12-square metre pop-up space shaped in the ubiquitous spade silhouette extends beyond its aesthetically strong visual salience where such iconic emblem could also be interpreted as a saccharine tribute to the passing of its namesake founder.
Upon entering the entryway illuminated by the playful and whimsical colours, that Kate Spade New York has been known for, stands a mannequin display that reinforces the feminine embodiment at the literal core of the spade.
Glass brilliantly brought forward the reoccurring elements as an extension of the S/S ‘19 runway show concept held at the New York Public Library during New York Fashion Week - softly curved pink facade, gently carpeted interior floors and ornamental balloon fixtures.
Meanwhile, the space interior showcased some of S/S ‘19 highlights - both sophisticated and youthful dresses, jewellery and bags from bold to pastel hues: lilac punctuated with chartreuse, bright green mixed with pale pink.
It is evident that Glass had riffled through fashion’s back catalogue into the brand’s two and a half decades worth of archives, seeking and channelling the genuine style synonymous with joy to craft her very own portrayal of the quintessential Kate Spade woman.
However, when celebrated traditions and heritage defines the value of a brand, it makes perfect sense that Glass would pay homage to the past that has forged its identity of 26 years.
Nicola Glass at the helm of Kate Spade New York began with the signature mark of the house - the spade - and she has surprisingly unveiled a uniform rebranding with the entirety of its corporate identity.
The changes introduced an updated logotype, that to a certain extent remains unchanged in the same serif typeface Baskerville.
Yet, the symbolic spade paired alongside the original logotype has been dropped, since for the most part it has assimilated with the products.
In the S/S ‘19 collection, Glass thoughtfully explores all types of spade treatments both overtly and subtly, integrating it into unique print language, embellishments as well as functional hardware.
As such, in the case of the Nicola twistlock shoulder bag it is accented with a jewellery-like spade-inspired closure; the Dorie bucket bag is defined by its soft structure and interlocking woven leather spades; and the Amelia shoulder bag is adorned with spade flower using 3D-printed emboss technique.
What Glass saw was an opportunity to examine and challenge the expected in beautiful and necessary ways, taking on a new level of luxury with a sense of discovery and a thoughtful approach to fashion design.
Since taking the creative reins of the brand, her delightful offerings promise a new beginning for yet another storied legacy.