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Khaite (Sort Of!) Riffs on the Mob Wife Aesthetic

khaite fall winter 2024 collection
Khaite (Sort Of!) Riffs on the Mob Wife AestheticHanna Tveite

Khaite said the show will begin promptly. In fashion speak, that means 25 minutes past the start time; which, honestly, is pretty good for New York Fashion Week. Shuffling into the pitch-black venue at Pier 61 Chelsea Piers, it was hard to see the step in front of you, let alone the celebrity next to you (Naomi Watts, Sofia Richie Grainge, Christopher Abbott, and Molly Gordon were all concealed inside). “I can’t see anything in here,” Jenna Lyons said to a fellow editor next to me. And that’s exactly how Catherine Holstein likes it.

Those who partake in the cult of Khaite, a.k.a. New York City cool girls like Lyons who want effortless, polished clothes they can actually wear, know all too well that black has become a cornerstone of the brand. Just reference the bulk of the designs or even its store on Mercer Street, with windows so dark you can barely see inside. Though the aesthetic is definitely working—Holstein was named Womenswear Designer of the Year at the CFDA Awards for the second year in a row in 2023—this season, Holstein broadened her moody vision to include shearling, gold chains, and a whole new slew of accessories—notably a peep-toe pump. Menswear fits blended with relaxed tailoring and couture fabrics, softened with strips of organza. There were long coats, innovative takes on tuxedo dressing, and colorblocked knit separates. Per usual, black and white reigned supreme, but Holstein invited grays, greens, and, this time, oxblood into the mix, with a scarf-inspired dot pattern. And it was all very good. Eat your heart out, mob wives.

khaite fall winter 2024 collection
An elevated take on the viral mob wife trend.Hanna Tveite

According to the show notes, the fall/winter 2024 collection examines “the dilapidation of a fallen drape quite literally, sculpting it on the body and letting the shape fall away.” This was made clear in the flowy, more sumptuous pieces: long ivory skirts, silk dresses with gathered fabric, and transparent layers with nothing but underwear underneath, and sometimes none at all.

khaite fall winter 2024
Another look from Khaite fall/winter 2024.Hanna Tveite

For Holstein, the act of falling and getting back up again harkens back to the idea of heritage—in her words, “who we were, are, and become transitioning from generation to generation.” With that, she dedicated the show to her mother. Set against the sonic backdrop of Radiohead, Joy Division, and Cat Power, the Khaite woman marched steadily on, even more put-together and chic than she was last season, prompting everyone in their seats to mentally empty their bank accounts for when the pieces hit stores.

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