Going to the J.Crew presentation yesterday was like being a kid in a candy shop. (Really, though, I prefer salty things but no one ever says “like a kid at a store full of chips”, so, moving on.) The retailer’s fall 2013 collection was so rich in saturated jewel tones, so boldly printed, so unabashedly covered in shimmering embellishments, it was truly eye candy.
Season after season, the J.Crew machine–helmed by everyone’s girl-crush Jenna Lyons and womenswear designer Tom Mora–delivers. The retailer puts out a quirky, mix-and-match collection of looks that manage to excite the fashion set and the masses. J.Crew also provides us with a handy guide on how to style the collection. For example: That printed short-sleeved shift? Wear it with matching elbow-length gloves, a thick knit scarf, and knee-high boots. Or that shimmering floral print silk Jacquard skater skirt? Pair it with a varsity jacket, a beaded blouse, and ankle strap stilettos. Obviously.
As for the clothes, I overheard designer Tom Mora talking about Morocco as a source of inspiration. Morocco is an oft-cited source of inspiration for designers (chiefly for the late Yves Saint Laurent) but Mora’s Morocco was more Marrakesh market kitsch than jardins Majorelle. And I mean that in the very best way. There were beaded, embroidered and printed tops toned down when styled with slim blazers and creased suit pants. One knit bore a print that looked just like a carpet. But there was also a sky blue and maroon abstract tapestry print worn with an equally bold royal blue embroidered skirt. Tapestry was a big trend coming off the runways last fall, and J.Crew’s keeping it alive for next fall. It translated especially well to oversized outerwear.
It was a lot to take in. But that’s the fun of it.