Fashion from the Escada collection is modeled during Fashion Week, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

Escada honors the high-energy horse that gave it the name

September 09, 2018 - 2:35 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — How does Escada do New York Fashion Week for the first time? With the spirited horse that started it all 40 years ago, lots of updated power looks and a vintage golden heart made new again.

The spring/summer extravaganza, presented Sunday in racetrack mode on a grass runway, is the second collection for global design director Niall Sloan, who left the British brand Hunter to join Escada in August 2017. He was true to Escada's late '80s, early '90s heyday as he marked the company's 40th year with some contemporary twists in fabrics and loosened up silhouettes.

It was a bright and busy day at the races.

There was an outsized red dot print on the front of white, wide-cuffed jeans. Red jockey silk slacks bagged from the waist clear to the grass, paired with an equally oversized green-trimmed blue blouse. There was a fanny pack to match and a huge heart necklace topping off the latter look that was fit for the bride of a little man on a fast horse.

Sloan has made the gold heart the new house emblem, based on an old Escada perfume bottle, but he was careful to splash the company's actual name on a bright blocky rain slicker in bold greens, yellows and reds. Some platform comfy sneakers matched.

Horse with jockey showed up in a print on long, wide shorts and an ultra-roomy matching blouse worn unbuttoned as a light over-layer.

Mixed with the update on "Working Girl" and Julia Roberts in that "Pretty Woman" dot dress was a bold animal print in a drape evening dress done in velvet.

But back to the horse.

Escada founders Margaretha and Wolfgang Ley had just begun to build a brand when they photographed one of their early collections at a racetrack. They were taken by a high-energy horse named Escada in one of the stalls and decided that would be the name of their company.

Sloan knows heritage. Before Hunter, he designed for Burberry, particularly the high-end Prorsum, under the tutelage of Christopher Bailey. Prorsum is Latin for onwards. Sloan was listening.