Take a moment. In this hectic melee of modern life where cell phones, tablets, and social media pressure us to be connected twenty-four-seven, how often do you stop and look around? Imagine if you could escape the self-imposed cage of technology. What if you took that idea even further and stripped away all of the structure, concrete and glass, and were left with the bare metallic bones of the modern metropolis?
Suddenly a flock of birds takes flight and is reflected in the mirrored panels of a skyscraper, a reminder of the open sky beyond, of spontaneous movement, of freedom. We watch, on the grid, and let our imaginations take flight.
This narrative tableau was the starting point for the F-W 2013 Kenneth Cole Collection – a vision conjured up by the brand's home city, New York. From it comes a wardrobe for modern men and women that plays with ideas of surface and depth, of volume and weight. The innovative use of materials, emphasized by the presence of printed lenticular fabrics, adds a futuristic element.
This collection combines the rough with the smooth, the structured with the floating. The mix of historical buildings with the newer structures of faceted glass in Manhattan, all underpinned by that hidden metal grid, gives us cut-out felt in a geometric lattice, coated tweeds and jacquards, metallic-coated knits and sweaters, foiled scuba-style neoprene that looks like vintage leather, and foiled wool that resembles the surface of old walls.
The architectural precision of modern construction is referenced by laser-cut metallic leathers and the combination of the soft and translucent with the heavy and stiff. Skins that look like metal are employed to create new accessories and jewelry pieces, and the hi-tech lenticular printed material helps to emphasize depth and movement.
The motif of flying birds recurs, creating a sense of tension and drama, while the grid of the city streets and the textures of its stonework are ever present. Layering is key, and when these combined clothes are accessorized with metallic-leather jewelry, we get the sense of dress as modern armor for our contemporary lifestyle.
Kenneth Cole Collection Women
The game of contrasting and controlled shapes is played out in different ways –shirt and jacket sleeves are voluminous and then taper off to end in massive gloves; long leather shirts meet cropped baseball jackets; pants that are baggy at the top, narrow to the ankle. There is a move away from classic leggings and pencil skirts to a new shape of skirt that is short and full. Oversize coats become important items for the season, part of a look constructed from multiple layers, as opposed to set-piece dresses.
This is modern, sophisticated street wear, in which the baseball jacket and the bomber jacket have roles as daywear; and leather is used throughout, notably in gunmetal and gold, for jewelry and garments. Very heavy shoes and dramatic oversize gloves, and hats, convey a sense of sportiness. Velvet, used in comfortable pants and shoes, softens the look. The accessories cinch and bind, with a severity that contrasts with thin, floating organza and soft blouses. The use of lenticulars on garments, accessories and bags adds a futuristic note, as do the reflective sunglasses in pewter, emerald and ruby red.
the messenger bag comes in standard size and in a mini style; the Kenneth Cole signature three-in-one cross-body bag (with three different entry points) comes in metallic colors and mixed materials, and is presented in two sizes – standard and mini. The accessories reinforce the notion that metallic lies at the heart of this collection, and feature many metallic treatments of leather, including hand-painting and metallic powder.
Kenneth Cole Collection Men
Kenneth Cole menswear, like the womenswear, has something of a lived-in look. The emphasis is on a relaxed, urban combination of layers and materials.
There is a play on proportions – oversize coats paired with lean trousers and fitted jackets. Bombers are important. Volumes tend to be generous, with the top half of outfits often constructed to look disproportionately large when compared with the bottom half. Suits are teamed with functional outerwear – sometimes even with matching outerwear.
The long parka offers an alternative to the short bomber. Vests bridge the divide between formal and sporty when combined with sweatpants.
Metallics abound, and a dusting of metallic powder is apparent throughout the range of men's shoes and bags. Fabrics are characterized by texture – felted-wool and wool-flannel are typical. Knitwear comes into its own as a core component of this cold-weather collection. And as in the womenswear, the use of the specially developed printed lenticular material adds a modern edge to the look.