Welcome to Katie 2.0.
With a seriously sexy Elle cover and presentation of her clothing line Holmes & Yang at New York Fashion Week on the horizon, Katie Holmes is carefully, cleverly starting to reconstruct her image as a single woman. And all signs point to a BIG comeback.
"This is a prime time for Katie to let her true fashion sense shine through," Ryan Patterson, a producer at Access Hollywood, told IFT. "People will be looking at her and scrutinizing her more than ever. But there are no rules for her to follow."
Katie doesn't seem to need a guidebook. Every move she's made this week has been precise. "Katie has always been a fashion darling," Zoey Washington, stylist and owner of Little Bird, said. "But now that she's stepping into the spotlight solo she should be very deliberate about her style."
The beautiful brunette has often gravitated towards classic silhouettes in black. Those looks may be too severe now, warned Washington. "Avoiding black and opting for soft or bright colors would remind the world that Katie has a softer side."
It's also time to amp up the sex appeal. "The public was given the feeling that she was living in a gilded cage," San Francisco-based stylist Keylee Sanders said. "I would like to see a lot more color now. Red. Orange. Pink. More plunging necklines, backless dresses and higher heels." Like many others in the industry, Sanders doesn't believe the timing of the Elle cover was coincidental: "What better way to boost your ego and show the world you are strong and sexy?"
Nevertheless, William Cane, an image consultant in New York, cautions against too many quick changes. "You want some continuity," he said. "You don't want to completely divorce yourself from who you were and who the fans loved." Cane's style advice? "Katie should keep her hair long and her look slightly tomboyish," he recommended. "Our research over three decades indicates that solids are sexy, prints aren't. She should take advantage of that."
Washington agrees. "This is a great opportunity for Katie to experiment with hot, young designers," the stylist said. Washington's picks? Prabal Gurung, Jason Wu, Alexander Wang and Rag & Bone.
"People are pulling for Katie," said Patterson. "There's a real curiosity about how this will play out. But the bottom line is that people would like to see her happy."
It's time for Katie to take the stage. And by all accounts she's more than ready.