It’s a rare moment when a limited color palette can carry a collection, and even more so when those colors are conjoined with the stereotypes of Halloween. Yet Katie Gallagher’s Autumn/Winter ’17 orange and black collection transcends the pumpkin patch into a scene of strength through feminine color blocking and delicate transparency.
Gallagher found inspiration for ‘Hallow’ in 1940’s men’s military styles and the themes of autumn and death, which traditionally accompany Halloween. The collection reinforces the established orange lining of the MA-1 bomber jacket without merely regurgitating an already trending garment. Just as an all-black ensemble began to feel expected, Gallagher’s keen placement of fishnet and mesh on blouses, rompers, and sleeves reinvigorated the looks.
She presents an impressive use of textures throughout the collection, from satin and velvet to mesh and furs. The simplicity in color does not guarantee simplicity in design, and the silhouettes in ‘Hallow’ make that known. There are baggy sweaters, orange catsuits, and a black romper reminiscent of a gown, all which shared the same catwalk without confusion. The use of bright orange and black was a risk well taken, pulled off through innovative textile combinations and strategized fluidity. Each look appeared planned, but the lineup was not forced into cohesion.
It is exciting to see designers take risks, and Gallagher took a leap by limiting her color palette, utilizing unexpected textures, and reimagining color blocking in a way that both excites and intrigues. While some garments may not be the most wearable (mesh tops with minimal coverage), they are still fun pieces to keep around the closet, and will bring a smile to your face each time you ask “what shall I wear?”
Written by Sabrina Batiz
Photography by Shawn Punch, courtesy of Avant Collective