A crowd gathers at Neiman Marcus Westchester, awaiting the runway showing of Escada’s fall/winter 2016 collection. Daniel Wingate, creative director for the Germany-based couture brand, stands before the crowd, proudly describing his vision for the ultra-feminine line.
“I was very much inspired by the brand’s history, but at the same time, I wanted to sort of delve into the gentleman’s wardrobe,” Wingate says. “Gentleman, feminine, beautiful mix.”
Down the maroon runway, models showcase straight-line pantsuits, bold jackets, knee-length skirts and strong embellishments, along with the use of black, gold and endearing purple and pink.
Each ensemble embraces the female form in a classy, yet sensual, manner, with flowing fabrics accentuating curves.
Dance serves as Wingate’s muse for this season.
“Dance and all of the great doyennes of modern dance,” he says of Isadora Duncan, Martha Graham and company.
Wingate’s personal favorite is a sleek, versatile jersey jumpsuit, providing “comfort and movement from boardroom to ballroom.”
But each piece has its own charm.
“I think it’s better to have fewer but finer things,” Wingate adds, “timeless clothing that you can wear and they can become heirlooms.”
The brand has been redefining women’s couture since it was founded in Munich in 1978 by Margaretha and Wolfgang Ley, who named their company after an Irish racehorse they bet on — and won. Margaretha, a top fashion model, created longer pant lines to fit woman of her height. Escada has since dressed royalty, including Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and Sarah, Duchess of York.
Since the early days of Escada couture, the brand has expanded to include Escada Sport, along with bags, shoes, fragrances and eyewear.
Wingate, who lives in Germany, has served as its design director since 2009. Despite the brand’s fashion changes, he says, its products remain consistent.
“I would say the signature at Escada is the enduring quality and unequivocal perfect fit for almost 40 years.”