Pink Tartan’s designer Kimberley Newport-Mimran is known for her signature sportswear and preppy silhouettes in bold colours. As such, her inspiration this season may come as a surprise: Jessica Lange’s American Horror Story character, the cunning Constance Langdon, and the tormented Margaret “Marnie” Edgar from Alfred Hitchcock’s 1964 film Marnie—well-dressed women with unassuming demeanors, who just happen to be harbouring dark secrets.
Newport-Mimran has captured this essence in her fall/winter 2013 Pink Tartan collection with details like jewellery-inspired hardware, stovepipe-style trousers, and faux fur collars. One more element tops off this 1960s vibe: a discussion of the nuances of laundering clothes and the need for women to have “runway to real life” pieces. In this vein, Newport-Mimran has designed a capsule collection within this season’s line, created in partnership with Tide Pods. The collection includes basic pieces—sweaters, trousers, and a dress—that are washable at home. “Modern fabric technology has come so far and the fabrics I’ve chosen don’t compromise the quality of the clothes,” she says. “Plus, I hate wrinkles.” The designer also travels frequently, which inspired the collection as a whole: the versatility of her pants, the transitional nature of her dresses, and her overall design philosophy—anchor pieces for women’s wardrobes, all crafted in carefully-considered material.
Newport-Mimran remains at the helm of her 11-year-old label, but husband Joseph Mimran (the man behind Canadian brand Joe Fresh) has lent his touch to her collections too. “That’s Joe’s there,” she says, pointing to the Pink Tartan signature inscribed on her winter floral raincoat. “He did that about 10 years ago.” The signed detail has been incorporated into her brand since its infancy, a mark that reinforces her hands-on approach. “Everything has been touched,” she affirms.
Reflecting again on this season’s inspiration, Newport-Mimran says, “Those girls all had great style, but they were a little wacky. That’s what I like—these were glamorous girls, but there’s something a little edgy about them.” The designer certainly has an edge herself—a sharpness and confidence that comes from having fine-tuned the Pink Tartan brand over the years. It’s something she has passed on to her customers through her refined menswear-inspired staples too, a way of helping multi-tasking working women and mothers like herself. “Men don’t have to think about skirt length. They have a top and a pant and a pair of shorts,” she says. “It’s very clear how to get dressed in Pink Tartan.” The washable nature of this new capsule collection stands to only build on this ease.