For their first show (and their 40th anniversary), Escada rented out the Park Avenue Armory and hired Versace’s style team, Pat McGrath, Guido Palau and Jacob K, to help relaunch the brand into the 21st century. Did it work? I am not convinced.
Founded in Munich, Germany in 1978 by Margaretha and Wolfgang Ley, the company was named after a particularly high-energy racehorse that the two discovered when they shot one of their early collections at a racetrack. For his second collection at the house, creative director Niall Sloan decided to retrace this moment while also taking inspiration from Pretty Woman and Working Girl.
And well linked it was. We all remember the polo game polka dotted dress that Julia Roberts wore in Pretty Woman. That exact dress walked down the runway next to versions of it as a power suit, a pair of very leisurely looking pants and fitted blazer.
Speaking of blazers, as a brand known for dressing the modern power woman, back in the 80s, of course, one would expect to see a lot of updated version thereof in this first show. However, a lot of the blazers and suits presented were not updated versions. Rather they looked like remakes of the cuts their business used to thrive on. And keeping in mind that the 80s and 90s have been a very successful era of inspiration for designers such as Demna Gvasalia of Vetements and Balenciaga, one could argue that this was a clever move for Sloan; it was very well styled and looked rather chic in the beautiful show setting designed by Stefan Beckman. But if you want to make a splash out of your first show ever, wouldn't you want to surprise everyone and create something entirely different and unexpected?