story by Seth Friedermann
photos by Ned & Aya Rosen
A designer’s clothing doesn’t have to be loud or flashy or revolutionary to be attention grabbing. Many, many fine designers are perfectly happy and suited to work inside of the structure of traditional shapes and “normal” pieces. Shirts, pants, jackets, skirts etc. Back in the mid twentieth century they called anything that wasn’t a dress or a suit “sportswear.” Well, if Jenni Kayne is a sportswear designer, I need to to learn how to play whatever sport she designs for. The designer said that her Fall 2011 Collection was designed for “the coolest girl in the middle of nowhere.” That young lady is well dressed by Miss Kayne.
Her collection was stocked with clean, crisp, tailored separates and free and easy dresses and coats. A Jenni Kayne design tends to stand out more because of the fit, fabric, and tailoring more than any flash or fancy. She does put signatures on her pieces, a tweak here, a touch there, but it’s more about the overall impact with her than drawing the eye to any one detail. This seasons favorites were some lovely wide leg trousers, which was a cut that was also present in her standout Pre-Fall collection, and her skirts which had a great balanced feel with a season-appropriate weight fabric that was cut perfectly to allow a fluid movement. It’s easier to market designs that can fit at home instantly in most women’s closets, but its much harder for he to make an impact with her look at the same time. The key is that all of the elements from large to small have to be done just right. Jenni Kayne turns that key, over, and over, and over.