Neiman’s Fashion Director Ken Downing on Dada in STL

In Style

Ken Downing, Senior Vice President and Fashion Director of Neiman Marcus, is in Saint Louis this weekend for a highly anticipated fashion presentation at the Contemporary Art Museum’s Dada Bash. ALIVE sat down with him to get some insight on tomorrow’s event–as well as trends, his world travels and what we all need in our closet right now.

ALIVE: What trends for Spring are you finding most relevant to the everyday woman?

Ken Downing: Orange. I love an orange shoe or a handbag; it’s a trend that was really major for resort and it will carry her into the fall. If a woman buys anything this season, it needs to be an orange handbag. We are also seeing single sole pointy toe pumps and booties; this trend brings us to the rocker chic look that we will see so much of this fall.

ALIVE: You recently spent some time in China; do you feel there is a difference in the way fashion and style are embraced there?

KD: I spent time in Beijing and Shanghai and street style is very relevant and important. The internet has created a way for fashion to be highly accessible and universal to everyone. You can take any uber chic woman off the street in Shanghai or Beijing and drop her off in the middle of New York and no one would blink an eye.

ALIVE: What can we look forward to seeing at your presentation at the Dada Bash?

KD: The presentation is going to be very grunge- and punk-inspired with a nod to the David Bowie glam rock era. Think beautiful feminine dresses layered with flannel and biker jackets.

ALIVE: So we have to know…what are you wearing to Dada?

KD: I am wearing a white dinner jacket from Paul Smith with dove gray trim and Dior tuxedo pants, then switching out my tuxedo pants with distressed denim for the presentation at the Dada Bash.

Tickets to the Dada Bash are available at the door for $75 and here for $60. The event starts at 6pm at the Contemporary Art Museum. The collection shown at the presentation will be available for a limited time at Neiman Marcus in its Dada pop-up shop, which opens this Sunday.

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