NEW YORK — When you approach 40, there's always a little soul searching to do.
That's the approach Escada is taking as it comes up on a milestone birthday. Actually, the Munich-based luxury brand was founded in 1976 and launched its first collection in 1978, so it's planning a 40th celebration for the next two years. Isn't that the way it should be?
Fashion director Daniel Wingate used the opportunity to get back to the brand's DNA of "sporty luxury" in resort and spring 2016 collections that will be featured at the Generations of Glamour fashion show at Elizabeth Anthony Wednesday night and a trunk show Thursday through Saturday. He dipped into the archives, taking vintage Escada scarves from the '60s and '70s to create digitalized prints that capture a youthful spirit in patterned pants, jackets, tunics and skirts.
As usual, color is a big part of the Escada legacy and the upcoming season features bright shades of red, yellow and blue. "These are bold ladies. We don't have wallflowers," declared Escada executive Rebecca Evans as we toured the showroom during New York Fashion Week.
The collections also offer versatile statement pieces for the woman on the go. For daytime, tailored wide-legged trousers with a tie-neck blouse or jacket and day dresses in white, an eye-catching orange or in beige trench fabric offer a variety of options. The more fashion forward dresser can make a statement in white perforated leather gaucho pants paired with a crisp white wrap shirt.
For evenings, jersey gowns in pink, teal or black and white, a black satin suit with a crimson floral print and tuxedo-inspired jumpsuits suggest a cool elegance. And who can resist a pale blue wrap jumpsuit with a flowing train that evokes chic memories of Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's?
To celebrate its 40th, Escada is also introducing a new handbag, called the ML40, as an homage to founder Margaretha Ley. It comes in three sizes — mini, medi and maxi — and a range of luxurious materials, from hand-finished calf to exotic crocodile.