I have to admit: part of the attraction in attending Jenni Kayne's fall presentation Wednesday night—aside from her consistently beautifully tailored clothes—was my curiosity in checking out the "Kayne residence" on Park Avenue, where the designer hosted her intimate showing. High up on the 27th floor of the pied--terre (the Kayne clan call Los Angeles home), surrounded by neighboring skyscrapers housing many of New York's now embattled hedge funds, Jenni explained a key motivation as she set about creating her fall designs. "In this economy, it was important to keep the clothes classic but also at the same time give women a reason to want to shop," she said of her texture-heavy collection, or as she described it, "80s power dressing."
According to Jessica de Ruiter, who styled the 20 or so looks that swanned about the apartment on models, the "carrot pant" was a key look. "They're all pleated in the front and cropped at the ankle," she described, pointing out the multitude of fabrics offered. In addition to the cropped pants, a leather pencil skirt was also chic, as was Jenni's use of lace and feathers, the latter most prominent in a tunic and dress.
Nursing a cold, Jenni forewent the fashion adage of air kisses in favor of handshakes and big smiles. It seemed to be a family affair, as she said her husband, also nursing an illness, had stayed back in L.A. Instead, the couple's 4 1/2 -month old son, Tanner, made cameos throughout the night. "It's his first-ever trip to New York," the designer gushed.
Jim Shi was born in Brussels, Belgium and grew up in Paris before moving to New York City. For the past four and a half years, Shi was fashion news editor of IMG's fashion and media industry publication The Daily and editor of its sister web site, Fashion Week Daily. He has covered Fashion Weeks in New York, Milan, and Paris.
PHOTOS BY PATRICK MCMULLAN