She had it all, her collection on covers of Vogue and Vanity Fair, celebrities hitting the scene in her designs, thirty+ stores carrying her first season collection. New York-based fashion designer Gemma Kahng was as powerful as her quirky interpretation of power suits that her name became synonymous with across the globe…That was the ’90s.
Kahng learned quickly that in fashion “one day you are in and the next day you are out,” as Heidi Klum would say on Project Runway.
Now, over a decade later, Kahng is breathing new life back into her name as a designer after overcoming the tolls of divorce, plummeting finances and an unforgiving industry. Like a phoenix from the ashes, she has come back from obscurity with a new look and attitude that demands well deserved attention.
She relaunched with a strong Fall 2012 collection and a Spring 2012 gleaming with feminine chic shapes and textiles that was a hop skip and a jump away from her tailored ‘90s pant suits.
But it was really her Fall 2012 collection that took her new image and made it a new era. Displaying at New York Fashion Week, her models strutted down the catwalk reminiscent of romanticized matador contessas dawning black, red and cream colored garments embellished with gold features oozing tribal royalty. Her vision developed from examining traditional Japanese armor that shows strength while being composed of elegantly ornate details. The use of power and beauty in the collection captivates and inspires.
Kahng’s Spring 2013 was recently presented showcasing her signature whimsical aesthetic with black, green, yellow, white and blue cutout pleather and sheer separates that only very brave woman would want to step off the runway and onto the streets in. Paired with black Hunter’s rain boots, the collection seems inspired by rain soaked spring afternoons at pond sprinkled with lily pads. Daring and fierce. As usual.
This fall, Neiman Marcus is carrying Kahng’s designs in their Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago locations. Gemma Kahng is back!
EDITOR AT LARGE
CHIEF FASHION CORRESPONDENT
Anna Paula Goncalves
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