A look at Frances Valentine through the eyes of the designer
Frances Valentine showed up for fashion week like never before this season. While still a young brand, former Kate Spade designer Kate Valentine has taken it to new heights.
Frances Valentine's Spring/Summer 2017 presentation was a dream come true. Like kids in a candy store we pored over petite bucket bags in hot pink and shamrock green and couldn't resist petting the puffs of feathers and fur so neatly placed on the tips of pointy-toed flats and pumps.
To top off the experience, we walked through the collection with Kate Valentine herself.
"Are you going to ask me about the inspiration for the collection?" Kate laughed as we approached her in the loft-style showroom overlooking Bryant Park.
"Because I don't have any inspiration, I just design what I like!" she said.
Well there went our first question. But luckily, unlike a lot of designer interviews, our time with Kate was really just a conversation, getting to know her and her new brand as we tried to stop ourselves from touching every piece she had painstakingly arranged herself (a perfectionist quality we easily identified with).
"That's one of the things that I adore," she said. "But they can't be silly or superfluous, they have to be architectural."
Secondly, her designs are based entirely off what she wants to wear on a daily basis. The pointy-toe slipper flat with the feather puff on the toe (oh. my. god.) was the first iteration of feather puff designs, and come spring 2017 the brand will offer a heeled version.
"We did it up on a heel because, for me, I can only wear those [the flats] with cigarette pants," Kate said. "If I try to wear them with a skirt, I'm too short!" she laughed. "So with a little bit of a heel it gives me a lift."
When it comes down to it, the 'inspiration' behind the Frances Valentine collection stems from items Kate wants to fill her own closet with: simple and sophisticated pieces with a touch of whimsy, for the woman who wants to stand out in a crowd.
"I want simple things," Kate said, "nothing 'too cute'."
And 'too cute' is certainly not a phrase we would use to describe the Spring/Sumer 2017 collection (although maybe for those teeny-tiny bucket bags). Rather, we would describe it as refined and worldly, cultured and chic.
Long story short, we'll most definitely be patrons of the unique collection, and we can't wait to watch the brand continue to evolve.
BY MOLLY WINDING
Shop our favorite Frances Valentine pieces below: