Norma Kamali has an upbeat, down-to-earth outlook on the world and fashion that has given her clothes a longevity that many designers would envy her. Take the Diana Ruched Dress: Designed in the 1970s, it was worn by Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie Bradshaw in And Just Like That, and is selling like hot cakes. Like everything Kamali designs, this sexy dress can be thrown in the washing machine, and as it stretches, it adapts to many body types.
Through her use of the bias cut and drawstrings, and translating swimwear aspects like cut-outs into ready-to-wear, Kamali has always created garments that could be described as user-friendly, which means something different in 2022 than 10 years ago. “A lot of how we shop is through photos on a screen, and the way light passes through photos, and how eye-catching the photos are, how emotionally appealing that experience is, is really a very modern thought process that a lot of us didn’t have to think about before,” Kamali said. “So if I have a dark color or something subtle, I have to do something to get her off the screen.”
Kamali’s eye-catching fall collection (which doesn’t deviate much from the pre-fall offering), needs no zhushing. It’s a straightforward offering of its best-selling silhouettes in new prints and colorways. “I have never sold so many colors in my entire career as now,” exclaimed Kamali dressed in black. “I think it’s clear,” she added, that people “just want fun clothes that are expressive and a happy experience when you wear them because we’ve been locked down for so long. We’re so in this exaggerated time.The designer obliges, with a collection made to live large.