How familiar is this picture? The woman across from you on the train in the morning with the perpetual frown plastered across her face. Why is she frowning? Maybe the train was late. Maybe she hasn't had her morning coffee yet. Maybe she just hates her job. Actually, let's go with that. The woman hates her job and does not look forward to it maybe because of the people, the environment or the fact that she may be able to do it with her eyes closed. She's changed into her modest running sneakers but that hasn't helped. She's got her morning paper that's current doing a five part series on some 20 year old millionaire starlet's fabulous life, so that's not helping. Quite possibly she needs to count her blessings or just do more personal things for herself, outside of her kids, husband, boyfriend, social life or lack of all four. You sit across from her and think that if it is her job that's creating her constant raining umbrella then wouldn't it be great if she got to do what she loved for change. I got this sense from talking with Kimberley Newport-Mimram, designer for Pink Tartan.
"Couturitarian" is how Ms. Newport-Mimram describes her Pink Tartan aesthetic. She loves that little bit of couture technique but with a strong sportswear edge to it. The result is a collection of clothing that a woman can feel confident enough to travel in and still feel like a lady in that old world Christian Dior and Cristobal Balenciaga way. Fall 2011 was no different. This was a collection for a woman who likes to dress up as Ms. Newport-Mimram does. There are some wonderful pieces in this collection. The feminine silk blouses with just enough flounce, the 'just right' fuller skirts that complemented a woman's natural waist (for some reason today, many women forget where their 'real' waist is) and the wonderful knits that came in complementary fitted crew-necks and dresses were all executed with strength yet sweetness. The designer's favorite for this Fall is he jacquard cable knit that remains thin while adding amazing texture to her knits. This is essentially what I saw when I toured the collection. Great feminine, soft and livable fabrics that were balanced perfectly into being strong pieces through lack of excess and the attention paid to finishing and detail.
It was an extreme delight to have spoken with Ms. Newport-Mimram because I discovered what one rarely sees. A designer who appears as though she loves what she does and lives in what she designs, so it all becomes so personal and plausible to women who want pretty, sophisticated clothing with an underlying strength. So next time you see that woman on the train, tell her about Pink Tartan. She might not need a vacation, just to feel pretty enough to remember that when fashion meets reality, the burdens on your shoulders are no match for that lovely cashmere sweater draped across them.