"It's not about flip flops and shorts," Banana Republic creative director Simon Kneen told us. "It's about tailoring and suiting, it's polished." Kneen believes the trend towards tailoring has to do with the economic climate--customers are looking for more. "It's about more of those classic timeless pieces than those quick throwaway pieces you can only wear for a moment."
At last night's presentation, models wore ladylike below-the-knee shift dresses and little belted tops over knee-length skirt. It was work appropriate--as Banana should be--but hardly office-drab. Bossa Nova music filtered through the showroom space and it was clear Kneen was feeling Rio this season. "Definitely there's a South American vibe between the colorations and the texture," Kneen said. "But it's not that Carinval-esque crazy South America--it's much more that beachy-y cool vibe." The colors--tangerine and lemon yellow on flowy maxi dresses and structured shifts as well as bright florals skirts on were a welcome counter to Banana's signature khaki. Of course, that safari look was still subtly there on lighter shades of khaki and on a standout full midi skirt. Oh and the wedges are awesome--even if they're a heavy on the Pierre Hardy inspiration.