It's hard to know what to expect when meeting Katie Holmes in a hotel suite
for a glimpse of her latest collection for Holmes & Yang, the label she
launched last fall with her longtime stylist Jeanne Yang. A phalanx of
security? Yep (I was escorted upstairs by a strong silent type). But
otherwise Holmes' approach to fashion, and her business in it, turns out to
be decidedly low-key. "[I understand] more what goes into making a piece,
creating something, and I think about that with the clothes I look at and
want to buy," said Holmes, herself looking relaxed in a wool sweater, heels,
and cuffed jeans; while we talked, her daughter Suri wandered in wearing one
of the collection's adorable crepe de chine dresses (she will make a great
editor one day: she sat on the couch between us, whispering occasionally in
her mother's ear and watching the model and my notebook). Holmes and Yang
produce the line, which includes those mini-me party dresses, via
seamstresses and artisans in New York, which accounts for the sticker shock
on a few of their pieces (like the nearly $3,700—and quite sexy—suede
biker jacket). But don't whip out your checkbook just yet—their
collection, which is a pared-down, lovely lineup of shirtdresses, skirts,
and tops in cream and black and dusty rose, is only available at Maxfield in
"We're taking it slow, [because] we really want to learn the business,"
Holmes explained, adding, "we're really concerned with what flatters: the
pants are high-waisted,"—she pointed to a lean pair of white trousers—
"and we're inspired by our friends, who are real women, they have real
bodies." Yang leapt up and pulled a colorblocked jumpsuit off a hanger;
pale pink front, black back, which Yang explained was Holmes's idea. "I
never liked nude on the behind," she said, wrinkling her nose, "it just
never worked." As Suri carefully removed her fuchsia ballet flats, looked
at them, and slipped them back onto her feet (again: like a fashion
editor!), Holmes, who just wrapped a film in Australia, laughed about her
multitasking ways (she and Yang email each other ideas about fabric and
sketches by way of collaboration). "I've always enjoyed fashion," she said.
"It's another creative outlet, and I like to be busy."
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