Boston Fashion Week is now fully underway, and dropping in on today’s shows seems to me to have highlighted why Boston is prime finally to become a fashion center (of sorts).
Fall has just begun. My kids haven’t even been back to school a full day yet. And I already feel like my entire fall clothing budget is spoken for several times over. While this is causing me a major anxiety attack, I suppose it is a positive comment on the state of fashion. Among other things, not only are there some great collaborations set for this fall, but the prices are even a tad more modest than some of spring’s designer collaborations. I hate to pick favorites, but … ok, why not. There are a lot of clothes I LOVE this fall, but the designer collaboration I am most looking forward to is JW Anderson x Topshop. The lookbook posted recently on Vogue UK includes 55 pieces, but these are the ones that scream to me “Must Have!” — the Irish designer, on trend with a seeming surge in fascination with all things Scottish, has some killer plaids, and he is at his best when layering patterns:
I don’t know about you, but I have a had to institute a moratorium on spending on spring clothing and accessories. I have no reasonable excuse for buying anything else. So, trying to steer clear of my favorite websites, I thought it was time to check out the Shops at Target. Without question, my favorite is the Privet House shop (I’m not a dog owner, and after my dear friend was awoken on Mother’s Day by a poop covered dog who had been sick in his crate the night before and let out by a mischievous five year old, I have no interest in becoming one — so I have an aversion to the Polka Dog Bakery shop without even checking it out so it could be just lovely but I wouldn’t know). The Webster shop is a little preppy for my taste, but there is some nice merchandise if you go for that kind of thing.
Not surprisingly, many of the Privet House items have sold out, but there are still some cute pieces left. The dishes, napkins and glasses are very pretty. Admittedly, at this point nice melamine dishes are a dime a dozen, except that they aren’t remotely a dime a dozen so the Target prices for these dishes makes them pretty hard to resist. $15.99 for a set of four dinner plates isn’t half bad given that comparable French Bull melamine dishes, while beautiful, retail for $11.00 each. The bad news is out of four styles of printed melamine dinner plates, only one is still available online. Truth be told, it’s my favorite of the four.
We’ve discussed shoes, printed jeans and floral dresses, but the other key item this season — the one that’s almost the easiest to wear — is the floral print jacket. Personally, I’m a fan of the light weight bomber jacket. There is also the cousin style of the pseudo letterman jacket, but the idea is pretty consistent either way. And if you ask me, they’re beyond cute. They are a little young looking, but I think that designers have tweaked the style to come up with jackets that really anyone can wear.
Isn’t it kind of intriguing how a designer can design multiple collections simultaneously? It is one thing to create nice clothes. It is altogether another talent to be able to distill the essence of a design house, in the absence of the founding visionary, and to design consistently with the feeling and aesthetic of the house, and at the same time completely shift gears and create a distinct vision for your namesake collection which is utterly separate.
In this context, Marc Jacobs’ relationship with Louis Vuitton is somewhat unusual. Although Louis Vuitton had long since established itself in the world of luggage and leather goods, Marc Jacobs was Artistic Director for the first ready-to-wear collection. So there is, in essence, no Louis Vuitton ready-to-wear style separate from Jacobs. Yet somehow, over the years, he has managed to weave a fairly distinctive look for the brand. Sometimes it is more distinct from the collection he puts out under his namesake label, sometimes less so. Looking ahead to Fall 2012 I’m having an awfully hard time telling the two apart. To a great extent it may have to do with styling. Styling plays a not insignificant role in giving an identity to a collection. But, however you look at it, I find the choices that Jacobs made in presenting these collections surprising.
Louis Vuitton Fall 2012