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Oui, s'il vous plait! Kara Wickman debuts fall collection

Wickman's signature corset paired with a skirt to create the perfect belle of the ball ensemble
Wickman's signature corset paired with a skirt to create the perfect belle of the ball ensemble
Michael Cress Photography

On January 17th, guests arrived to the Biltmore Hotel’s ballroom for day two of StyleWeek Providence’s famed fashion week. With opening night having kicked off with New England designers Sam Mendoza, Avni Trivedi, and Sarah Prost, fashion week attendees already had high expectations for the day two. Opening the evening was Rhode Island-based designer Kara Wickman who created her self-titled fashion label for its runway debut during StyleWeek. Expecting her second child, Kara appeared to effortlessly balance life as a mother, her pregnancy, and the creation of a 21 piece collection inspired by a woman whose spirit resembled much of her own: glamorous and always on the go.

After attending StyleWeek’s inaugural fashion week in June, Wickman knew that January would be the platform she needed to launch her line. Her debut collection entitled “Oui” is comprised of office-ready separates, playful cocktail dresses and rompers, along with silk satin ball gowns. Her initial inspiration came from the timeless corset top, a sensual yet sophisticatedly structured piece whose silhouette is slimming on almost any frame. With a modern take, Wickman added hidden zippers and kept the notion of the back lace for ornamental detail, making her items as easy to wear as they are flattering.

Kara Wickman’s collection hit the runway on leggy models sporting big hair and the revival of the beehive. Styled with satin gloves, tea hats, and chokers, the models walked to French pop and carried an air of playful mystery. Some garments even included handmade flower pins attached to backs and hips of the garments which were custom made using the collection’s fine fabrics.

One collection highlight is a cocktail party houndstooth dress with fine lace overlay. The dress features a playful A line skirt and also featured a thin black leather belt at the waist to add in a touch of extra detail. The black and white ensemble was paired with a large red flower in the hair along with red patent leather shoes to add contrast. Dress this look down for work by pairing with it a simple black blazer and a pair of pumps; lose the jacket and kick up the heels for evening soirees.

While most of Wickman's looks are transitional from day to evening, one favorite is a purple tweed blazer and skirt paired with a silk Asian print fabric in bright purple, red, and gold with keyhole neckline. Barely seen beneath, the model tossed the blazer over her shoulder at the foot of the runway revealing what might as well have been a cocktail dress.

Most of the looks were styled featuring Poetic License shoes whose playful designs complimented the essence of the designer’s vision. Satin booties featured black glitter platforms and heels while a black suede open toe bootie featured black snake trim. Another red suede pair of heels had gold trim and a ruffled flower at the ankle, featured with one of Wickman’s more simple designs to pull the flowers and color of some of the other garments.

Didn't get a chance to see Kara Wickman's line at StyleWeek? Lucky for Boston, Wickman will be previewing her Oui collection at The Liberty Hotel's Fashionably Late this upcoming Thursday! Join Wickman on February 3rd for a night of fashion and cocktails while being the envy of your friends for knowing what's hot for Fall 2011 while stores are just starting to get in Spring!

Admission is complimentary, RSVP now.

Visit Kara Wickman's website for more information and where to buy.


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