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For her fourth collection, Kate Barton continued to hone her futuristic brand (as recently worn by Heidi Klum), expanding from eveningwear to more ready-to-wear separates, sculptural jewelry and accessories.
“I wanted to grow this Kate Barton world where the lines are blurred between digital and reality. A lot of our social media followers think our pieces are AI [generated] so we really wanted to build on that,” she said of using her sculptural draping technique (which doesn’t use seams or darts) on knits, outerwear and tailoring that had an architectural, 3D-imaged effect and serious sex appeal in the tradition of Thierry Mugler.
Heidi Klum at the Fashion Trust Awards in Kate Barton
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“…catering to the art crowd with her unique sculptural approach to dressmaking is Kate Barton. A recent SCAD graduate, Barton molds plates covered in metallic leather to accentuate streamlined silk evening dresses. Barton is clever, and so her sculptures are removable with magnets hidden in between seams or behind the boning of corsetry. For fall, she wanted to add “versatility and dimension” to her line by including styles that lean into the ready-to-wear space. Corsets, mini skirts, and bralettes, all accentuated with Barton’s signature shapes, might attract a younger crowd, though it’s her draping work with liquid iridescent silks that makes her one to look out for.”
The Cut By Cathy Horyn
Kate Barton finished the graduate program at the Savannah College of Art and Design only last year, and in October launched a line of eveningwear, 20 styles in all. She’s worth watching because her approach to evening and dress-up is indeed innovative: She has developed her own engineered fabrics in shimmery whites and solid, watery hues, using a local dye house to get her own colors, and metallic trims, which in some cases are actually a coated leather. Her draping is free-form (and fresh-looking for it) and her workmanship excellent. Best of all, her dresses are superlight. She’s working on developing a wholesale business, but for now, her dresses — priced from $1,900 to $3,500 — are custom-order.
Women’s Wear Daily
Emerging designer Kate Barton, on Thursday, is debuting her spring collection with the launch of her e-commerce platform. The New York-based designer, who graduated from The Savannah College of Art and Design in 2021 and received multiple awards and accolades, including Mittelmoda at Milan Fashion Week, CFDA’s Top Fashion Future Graduate and Red Dot Award, is aiming to advance “unique approaches to eveningwear” with her namesake label.
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In just over a year, Kate Barton has become a name to know in the New York fashion scene. Her truly one-of-a-kind approach to draping and garment making set her apart from the crowd, with beautifully dyed pieces that are uniquely hung on the body, almost taking on another dimension. This season, Barton added to her initial offering with separates that are sure to wow buyers. She’s moving at her own pace, showing that slow and steady really does win the race.
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Kate Barton’s spring collection further showcased the designer’s use of innovative fabrics and her modern take on eveningwear. The designer continued the use of engineered leather and liquid-like fabrics to create draped dresses, corsets and skirts that can be mixed and matched.
“It’s really blending in this development of textiles and textures and this almost illusion of metal and liquid looks, while still being very wearable and having functional silhouettes that people still feel good in and that showcase the right features,” Barton explained.
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You can get a sense for Kate Barton’s ambitions by listening to the playlist at her collection previews. Early-’00s Britney, Christina, and Beyoncé all appear—and Barton’s dresses are fit for modern pop divas. Specifically, Barton uses an innovative draping technique that makes dresses and separates flow like water from a single piece of fabric. Minis come in sticky green sequins and a leatherlike lavender material; liquid metal silver and patent black are also in the mix. Paired with detachable metal embellishments and quirky resin bags, the resulting pieces look like they belong on the VMAs red carpet—or in the closet of a woman who wants to channel her inner award winner on her next night out.
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“Kate Barton has been on the fast track to success since debuting her MA thesis collection at Savannah College of Art and Design. The designer received an award for innovation at the Mittelmoda competition at Milan Fashion Week, was selected for the CFDA Fashion Future Graduate Showcase, and featured in publications including Vogue Italia and ELLE.”
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