Follow Vogue Arabia

Karen Walker

Those guest star couples who paired off on episodes of The Love Boat—boy, they were suckers. As any kid reared on reruns of that show understood, the real prize wasn’t finding love, it was working on the ship long-term: Who had it better than Julie the cruise director, setting sail for the tropics week after week and getting paid to come up with ways to have fun? You might say that the latest Karen Walker collection was an homage to Julie and her high-seas joie de vivre. The designer’s Love Boat reference was explicit in the lineup’s nautical elements, such as anchor prints, mariner stripes, and rope-detailed chambray and denim, and it was suggested in the graphic tropical florals and overall preponderance of oceanic blues. There was something cruise ship-esque, too, about her sculpted tweed and jersey pieces, such as flounced miniskirts and shifts finished smartly with zippers: These items mixed a crisp look and underlying workhorse functionality in a way one typically associates with uniforms. (Air New Zealand should recruit Walker to upgrade the stuff worn by its flight attendants.) Of course, her uniformity wasn’t drab; rather, as befitted her theme, she spun her looks in a romantic direction, adding a row of sharp ruffles to a jersey tank, for instance. The most immediately appealing things here, though, were the ones that chucked any sense of strictness and went straight for a vacation vibe. Her gauzy little tank dresses are going to be a lot of girls’ summer go-tos; ditto a jumpsuit or A-line mini in denim, a material Walker has rightly been emphasizing of late. This season, the quantity of denim produced by Walker amounted to a capsule collection of its own. The vibe of which you might describe as “Julie the cruise director goes on shore leave.”

View All
Vogue Collection