Wall Street Journal Review: Malandrino Fall 2010 Khan Collection
Catherine Malandrino Ditches Paris for Mongolia
By Christina Binkley
The two chairs at the back of Catherine Malandrino’s presentation weren’t getting much attention on Sunday. But they inspired her whole collection. The designer discovered the chairs in a Brooklyn boutique. Made of curving horns lashed together and covered with the skins of a long-haired Mongolian Kidassia goat, they invoke that now-you’ve-traveled-everywhere feeling that Ms. Malandrino was aiming for.
With a collection that she is calling “Khan,” Ms. Malandrino is moving into a nomadic, tribal phase of her design career. As a result, her Parisian urban look of the past 10 years has disappeared almost entirely. In it’s place are Kidassia goat coats and trims, intricately slashed leather motorcycle jackets, Himalayan tiger fox wraps, and a look that is layer-upon-layer, such as a pair of soft wool pants under a pleated skirt.
It’s a look that comes of world travel, created with a suitcase in mind. And it’s looking as though she’s right on trend with the goat hair — we’ve been seeing various kinds of Mongolian goat skin used in vests and coats, though Ms. Malandrino’s is straight, and much of the other is curly.
A number of chiffon dresses with a batik-like print were outstanding. Ms. Malandrino swears they’ll come out of a suitcase ready to wear, and they look as though you could take them in a carry-on.
Ms. Malandrino is now also offering a full line of jewelry, and other accessories, such as long black leather gloves. They’ll be sold at her 12 shops and in many of the 250 retailers who carry the brand. Bernard Aidan, her husband and business partner, says they’re planning to open 25 stores in Asia in the next five years, five in the Middle East in the next three years, and in 2011, they will begin a U.S. retail expansion.
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