Last night, Ann Taylor threw a party for LOFT at the Bowery Hotel.
Alexa Chung DJd, Henry Holland, Mena Suvari, Phillip Lim and Maggie Gyllenhaal hung out on the sidelines and a whole bunch of dudes waited for Ra Ra Riot to perform. Before you made it to the stage, you had to walk through their "Style Studio," a few fall outfits styled by Kate Young, Tina Chai, Alia Ahmed-Yahia, and Joanne Blades.
About five people I spoke to didn't know what the party was for, another three thought the clothes looked fantastic---particularly a faux fur gilet---and another one said, "It's like they want to be J.Crew, but J.Crew is so inspired by other more high fashion things, so by the time you're inspired by something else inspired, it has this weird watered down effect."
I liked the clothes, and I'm impressed by the length to which they're obviously willing to go to distance themselves from the Ann Taylor brand (a brand so dowdy my mom asks me, "Is this too Ann Taylor?" before buying anything from any store). To compete with J.Crew, they'll need to do more than cuff their blazers and throw a fun party---but it's a good start.