Houghton Fall/Winter 2016

By Sophie Fay Shaw, Staff Writer

Houghton’s boutique style presentation for Fall 2016 was intimate yet airy. Held at the label’s West Chelsea atelier, the clothes were presented hanging or on dress forms. Houghton blends grunge and femme in the most sophisticated way, making it accessible to both a youthful and mature audiences. Although designer Katharine Polk’s brand is merely 5 years old, it has a definite aesthetic guided by Polk’s eye for tailoring and her experience as a bridal designer. The Fall/Winter collection complements her past work with its black and white color palette and abundant use of lace.

The collection was full of embellishments. Sheer lace, sequins, and shaggy fur accents added feminine details. A standout ensemble included a sheer blouse with a deep lace-up v neck paired with a delicate lace skirt. Lace-up details also made it onto skirts, dresses, and other tops. Texture was a key element. Both black and white leather jackets were elevated with thick flokati-like fur collars.

Lace added dimension to basic silhouettes. Maxi skirts and blousy tops were repeated in various sheer textiles or laces. Also, see-through star lace shirts in black and white added a bit of rock and roll youthfulness. A few printed pieces were included, such as a black and white robe style long dress, but they were not as successful at conveying the fierce and chic woman Polk designs for. And as expected of a bridal designer, Polk included several lace gowns. One that particularly stood out was a black gown elevated by an open back caged in by a criss-crossed tie. Another stunning dress was, this time in a classic white hue, had a high neckline and  gold zipper running down the front.
Romantic with a bite, Houghton has found its niche. The Fall/Winter collection is whimsical with an edge. The clothes surely looked beautiful, luxe, and well-crafted, however, it would have been more satisfying to see their movement on a body.

Email Sophie Fay Shaw at [email protected]

The full Fall/Winter look book can be viewed at https://houghtonnyc.com/fall-winter-2016