Monday, May 21, 2012

Old Favorites: Karen Walker "Victory Garden" Spring 07

This collection came out when I was in my last year of high school. I loved it at the time and I've loved it ever since. Victory Garden references wartime, the 1940s and Land Girls (all with Walker's signature sense of humour, pop culture and girls-dressed-as-boys aesthetic) all noticeable in the loose menswear shapes, tshirt prints (I'm still hunting for a version of that vegetable face print), liberty florals and sensible anoraks. Spring 07 was Karen Walker's first season showing in New York after eight seasons in London. A key silhouette in the collection was the many pairs of the loose trousers (a Karen Walker staple for a few years). Reminiscent of Oxford Bags and mens suiting of the period, Walker's pairs look achingly cool on women - their elegant swagger and mannish appeal never better than when in full stride. This collection also features some of my favorite prints. The ever so British micro florals in subdued browns and berry reds are so good that I actually have two pieces in my wardrobe - a pair of the knickerbocker-esque shorts and the floral cotton bodysuit (a sample that I managed to get my hands on). Who else has pieces from this collection in their closet? Is there anything you wish you had goten?

Southern Hemisphere Mainline

Souther Hemisphere Runaway

Sources:, Karen Walker


  1. I remember this collection well and loved it sick at the time! I always kind of wish I had got that floral print dress with the navy blue bow, so cute. I don't think I got anything from this collection sadly, it looks good in retrospect.

  2. This may sound incredibly bizarre but I am an ex-pat Kiwi male and I own quite a few pieces from the 'Victory Garden' range. It is still one of my absolute favourite Karen walker ranges (closely followed by Karen to the Rescue and Dough and Dynamite), as it signalled both her entry into New York fashion week and was also the high point of her juxtaposition of masculine and feminine. Sadly I think that her collections since 'Karen to the Rescue' have been less kooky, more market and trend driven. I think this is simply the maturing of her label - it was very 'street' in the 90's, I can remember the tank tops and bumster pants - and is now very sophisticated with a slight whimsical kick.

    I have the bright cobalt blue parka which rolls up into a carry bag and frequently use it in London, the blue denin shorts with gold side stripe and self belt, the 'salad face' long sleeve t-shirt, a pair of the oxford bag-style pants, a fluoro nylon sunbonnet (!!!) and the purple waistcoat. I love all of the pieces and because they have a slight sludgy oversized feel, can pull them off. The references for that range were also frickin' cool with Charlie Chaplin, the scene from Dead Man where Iggy Pop wears a sunbonnet all channeled with the ingenuity and ruggedness of 40's wartime Land Girls.

    The shoes for the range were also from Church's a fantastic British heritage brand and for more of this style of dressing you MUST watch 'Land Girls' (1998) starring Rachel Weisz