Fall 2023 Fashion Show Review

Review of Khaite Fall 2023 Fashion Show

Khaite the Great

By Mark Wittmer

For the inaugural show held in Khaite‘s freshly launched flagship store, designer Catherine Holstein demonstrated that this latest brand milestone is just the beginning as she delivered a collection that boasted some of the most competent and covetable work we’ve seen out of New York in years.

Khaite Fall 2023 Fashion Show

Icily elegant and almost clinically cool, the collection is a razor-sharp assertion of Khaite as one of minimalist fashion’s leading voices.

Decisive and bold outerwear sets the tone of the collection: strong-shouldered coats and jackets in leather, cotton, and wool are streamlined by thoughtfully placed darts, vertical seaming, and internal structures that accentuate the waist. These silhouettes are powerful, icy, and assertive, yet elegant. 

A cape-like coat marks the bridge from this outerwear to the play of rigidity and fluidity that characterizes the collection’s dresses, skirts, and pants. Pleated skirts cascade from under coats and kiss the floor. Elongated shapes – sinuous trousers and jersey dresses, skirts with slits that run up to the waist – are balanced by cropped jackets that are in turn strengthened by curved arms and 80s-esque power padding.

Balancing out this icy and sculptural elegance is an unexpected juxtaposition of all-over plush shearling pieces that focus and reclaim a teddy softness from the eclectic clutches of Gen Z fashion girlies, instead putting it to work in the service of lending warmth to the unapproachable urban coolness of this collection’s ideal woman. It appears on a few jackets and even a pair of pants, but the most interesting use of the furry material is on quite a few pumps and sandals – an item that seems more appropriate for spring were it not rendered in such a cozy fabric. In themselves and in another context, these furry sandals might have felt playful or even goofy; in this collection they spoke to the luxury of absurdity, a design statement that is impractical and therefore pure.

While it’s not quite hygge, the knitwear pieces, like ribbed merino dresses and turtlenecks that remix a bit of fair-isle charm, play nicely into the feeling of Copenhagen-approved cool.

With the exception of one embroidery moment, no prints or patterns are to be seen, and colors are entirely solid, keeping the focus on the lushly mixed materials and distinctive finishing touches like baby hems, reverse bindings, and raw edges on sheer underlayers. The almost entirely neutral is punctuated by a few moments of deep green, which becomes more powerful in its restrained intentionality.

Phoebe Philo may have just made the much-awaited announcement of her new eponymous brand’s first presentation, but the many fans of her iconic work at Celine have Khaite to keep them more than appetized until then and beyond. 

Khaite Fall 2023 Fashion Show