Gallery: Holmes & Yang Plunders From the 1940s at Fall 2013 NY Fashion Wee...

Katie Holmes isn't ready for her close-up. The former Mrs. Tom Cruise, who cannily spun tabloid attention over her divorce into free publicity for her three-year-old fashion label last fall, eschewed the bright lights of Lincoln Center this season in favor of private appointments at the New York Palace Hotel on Madison Avenue. (Ecouterre didn't make the shortlist; c'est la vie.) "It's a quiet line," Holmes told by way of explanation. Her partner, Jeanne Yang, finished her sentence: "We're about wearing the clothes, not letting them wear you."

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Indeed, Holmes & Yang’s Fall/Winter 2013 collection has an elegance that’s inoffensive to the point of unobtrusiveness. The 15 looks, which borrow their inspiration from the 1940s, Katharine Hepburn in particular, are potential heritage pieces whose quality and craftsmanship would have been lost in the glare of the runway.

“We’re not trying to be trendy, but we’re trying to make high-quality pieces you’ll wear over and over again,” Holmes said.

For the most part, the duo appeared to demur on any overt trendiness (a plaid wool bustier and some generously cut peplums were among the few concessions). The “everyday chic” aspect of the lineup was emphasized in the sleek, unassuming silhouettes: shirtdresses in hammered silk and chambray denim, pleated suede trousers, plaid maxi-skirts, a black halter gown, a two-tone blue cape hemmed with nailhead trim.

“We’re not trying to be trendy, but we’re trying to make high-quality pieces you’ll wear over and over again,” Holmes said.

Quality doesn’t come cheap, of course, especially when everything is manufactured in New York and Los Angeles, which Holmes & Yang insists. It’s an issue that is surprisingly personal for the designers. “My mom was a sewing contractor, and she put me through college,” Yang told WWD. “Katie’s mother had a drapery business, so she knows about draping.”

Neither parent is in the garment business today, but their early influence clearly left a mark. “We know that we are a younger line, but we come from a heritage of parents that are self-made,” Yang added. “They taught us not to be afraid of customizing something and being confident. ‘Go ahead and make this dress your own.’”

+ Holmes & Yang





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