Looks from Karen Walker’s new Onwards and Upwards collection. Images supplied.
We can always rely on Karen Walker to champion the thinking woman and her latest collection titled Onwards and Upwards is inspired by the designer’s personal love of chess. As you would expect this range finds Karen Walker navigating her pieces around the board with the prowess of a Grandmaster. She is after all a designer at the top of her game and full of brilliant ideas that translate into must-have garments and accessories.
This collection features a suitable intelligent chess print in mahogany and black that features on lush crêpe de Chine dresses and tops as well as on soft knits. It’s impossible to overlook Karen Walker’s covetable tweed soft-suiting that makes the business day far from boring. Homespun cable knits and boxed-out wool cardigans have an old school appeal while layers of sheer black dot tulle have a punk insouciance that adds a playfulness to the range.
Mashing up masculine and feminine style is a classic Karen Walker play and with this collection she was thinking of prominent female chess players, like German Sonja Graf, facing off with their male opponents across the board. Those women doppelgangering the males who challenge them in trouser suits and fluid tailoring that feels a bit retro but still modern and in control.
The designer demonstrates her sharp eye for style by playing with proportion with wide-legged trousers and fluid capes and dresses teamed with more fitted styles. Her leading lady clearly has a love of the 30’s palazzo pant which is a chic accompaniment to tailored shirting and casual knits. As the title suggests, Onwards and Upwards, is a nod to the rules of the game as a pawn can only move forward of course, never back. The same can be said of Walker herself who has delivered another stellar range that is unexpected and adroit.