No Scientology, no Suri, and definitely no Tom Cruise: when Katie Holmes made her debut appearance as a New York Fashion Week designer, she stuck firmly to her subject - clothes.
Since announcing her divorce from Hollywood's pre-eminent movie star earlier this year, the 33-year-old has been at the centre of a swirling supermarket tabloid frenzy. The poor woman has been besieged. Last night’s first-time appearance of Holmes & Yang, the fashion label she runs with her old friend and stylist Jeanne Yang, here on New York's schedule was breathlessly interpreted as a post-Tom declaration of independence.
The real reason, said Holmes, is that: "This felt natural to us. We have taken a lot of time to get to know our customer." The label was founded three years ago. Yang added: "We have been doing things in baby steps because we really want to be careful and get to know the business."
According to Holmes, who wore fitted black trousers, crystal studded-shoes and a knotted necklace of green silk, their customers are "intelligent, strong women of all ages" who appreciate clothes that are "empowering, sexy, and sensual."
Presented on a group of models who stood or a sat on a scattering of wooden crates wearing Manolo Blahnik heels or Stubbs & Wootton slippers, the collection was more well-thought out indie film than attention-seeking blockbuster.
One model reclined on a crate in a long pea-green silk maxi skirt split to mid-thigh and a black leather camisole, staring wistfully into the middle distance. Another clutched an attractive caramel Valextra satchel wearing a slouchy orange notch-lapel blazer, that Holmes said was one of her favourites: "it is a jacket you can wear every day, over a pair of jeans or a work dress."
Her favourite item of all the collection, she added, was a cutesy taupe tea-dress with a fetching reddish print. "To me," she said: "that dress is so innocent and fun."
This label will inevitably receive much attention thanks to the melodrama surrounding its co-designer, but it deserves credit for simply being an extremely well-constructed selection of sleek, don't-scare-the-horses womenswear. It is also all made in America, a drum Holmes was keen to bang: "We make everything but the knits in New York - we have a fantastic factory in LA for the sweaters - and we are proud of that."
Luke Leitch, Telegraph.co.uk