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Norma Kamali continued to build on the wardrobe theme she introduced last season. Work life may be altered, but post lockdown, our lives have once again become more structured, within new uncertainties. This requires new approaches, and perhaps some new and dependable wardrobe items that can be an aid in manifesting our best selves.

It’s early in the fall season, but already it’s clear that many designers are in the mood for tightening their offering, and making it a bit more dressed up. Kamali had some thoughts on that: “As baby boomers, our job was to break every rule because everything that existed before didn’t allow for self-expression. So we did that and we broke rules and it allowed for self-expression to the nth degree. But we are in such a different time now, we’re thinking about life and death literally, in real time, and so there’s a certain decorum that you need to have to balance that,” the designer said. “I think women feel very, very, challenged in a lot of ways, but how we present ourselves is a very big decision that we make… we can definitely do a lot of damage to ourselves by making the wrong choices in how we communicate”—sartorially and otherwise.

As with last season, Kamali was thinking about modular dressing, building suits in parts, so you have the option of pairing a jacket, say with a matching skirt in your choice of three lengths, or two styles of pants, or a variety of blouses. For those who want to invest in a total look, a skirt and a jacket, for example, Kamali said she’s offering special bundle deals, “we’re putting things together and you get a special price,” she explained.

The actual designs at Kamali remain fairly static with classics like the parachute pieces coming and going. For fall they were back, and looked smashing with a white shirt and blazer. This collection had an entirely different mood than what we saw before because of the choice of prints and palette. Kamali leaned into prints like camo, check, and mini leopard that she believes work as neutrals, much like the autumnal earth tones she selected for fall such as army green, warm browns and tans. The latter two were partly inspired by the designer’s four-legged friend, Wally Kamali.