NEW YORK -- Coming off her epic split from Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes and stylist Jeanne Yang showed their Holmes & Yang spring-summer 2013 collection Thursday, their first time at New York Fashion Week.
The PR team managed to keep the presentation at Lincoln Center low-key, despite being inundated with requests for tickets. Most were turned down and only about 150 people made the cut.
Holmes and Yang circulated through the crowd exchanging "hellos" with editors from Vogue and Harper's Bazaar. Tom Cruise's name did not come up once, and Suri stayed home.
The emphasis was meant to be on the clothes, which were shown on static models positioned in the center of the room.
Yang explained that the focus of the collection is on elevating casual dressing "because looking stylish and casual is often harder than dressing up." Although the two women launched their label in 2009, and have shown it at low-key presentations before, this is the first time they have shown during fashion week. "It felt like a natural step to have more of an audience now," said Holmes, who pointed to a nude spider mum print, off-the-shoulder dress, and a quilted leather bomber jacket as her favorite pieces in the collection. "We are proud we make 95% of the collection in New York and the knits in L.A.," she said. "That was how we began, wanting to use amazing people in America to make our clothes. We'll see where it takes us."
Bobbi Brown, who did the makeup for the show and recently named Holmes the face of her brand, was on hand. "I didn't choose her because she's a celebrity, I really didn't," said Brown, adding that she liked Holmes from the moment they first met over tea a few months ago. "She's not 20, she has a lot on her plate from acting to design. She was interested in how I balance work and being a mother," Brown said. "I think she's a great role model and that women will relate to her."
The inspiration: Elevating casual dress. Mixing masculine and feminine style.
The look: Relaxed elegance. A black off-the-shoulder dress with hand-painted red spider mums. A louche black beaded strapless jumpsuit worn with a navy cardigan. A buttery suede cape worn with a celadon-colored camisole and red shorts. A leather camisole worn with a maxi skirt. A black leather bra top and men's pleated trousers under a glazed khaki leather trench coat.
The scene: Controlled and polite.
The verdict: The line may be made in New York, but it has that relaxed L.A. sensibility that really reflects what people wear every day. There's no reason to think that the line won't continue to gain momentum now that Holmes has garnered so much goodwill with the public since her split with Cruise. Could Holmes and Yang be the next Row, the line designed by Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen? Or the next Victoria Beckham? We'll see. First, Holmes and Yang have to show us more about what their particular brand of fashion is all about.