Hello-Hello and welcome to a Wednesday!
The review in Women’s Wear Daily referenced the company’s ‘new direction’:
“… the affordable, working girl’s retailer is serious about its new attitude and willing to put its money where its mouth is.”
The palette was neutral, with none of the bright colors we adore. Many of the pieces in the presentation are available now, a huge distinction from other firms showing in New York last week.
Those items not already in stores are scheduled to drop before the holidaze holidays. Back to the presentation, WWD wrote about the notables in attendance:
“… so a gaggle of Ann Taylor-clad celebrities were wrangled to sit front row. Jennifer Esposito, Vanessa Williams, Mena Suvari, Gretchen Mol, Kelly Rutherford, Kelly Bensimon, Laila Ali, Katherine McPhee and Amanda Bynes came prepped with pro-Ann spiels, some which actually sounded sincere…”
The WSJ’s Heard on the Runway blog has more on what is driving the changes at the company:
“…Ann Taylor made a name for itself on women’s busines suits that were popular more than a decade ago. But it failed to evolve beyond those pieces, slipping into a staid and dowdy style.”
We’re not convinced it has all been frumpish, but there is definitely an issue with the merchandise mix in recent years. We would contend that for those needing proper apparel in the workplace the company managed to keep some basics in the stores, pieces one could build a look around. Back to the show:
Additional thoughts from Heard on the Runway:
“Ann Taylor stepped up its styling game for Thursday evening to give its pieces more of a high-fashion aesthetic. The brand added feathers and pom poms to its so-called ”power sandal.” The overall presentation was at once edgy and sophisticated, prompting a collective “That’s Ann Taylor?” among audience members.”
The next pieces are a bit more formal, possibly the perfect look for upcoming parties and celebrations:
Overall the styles had a more contemporary look, we hope the company is able to rebound and capture the younger shoppers it desperately needs.
Next, some quick looks at lines we haven’t been able to showcase, like our beloved Oscar de la Renta.
He really is a master.
If there is a designer who better understands what flatters the female figure we don’t know who that might be.
The few items we have in our walk-in by Mr. de la Renta have worn beautifully, timeless designs we are always happy to put on again.
This party frock caught our eye.
Below, tops from the Kmart spring line for next year.
Below left, another Kmart style, and on the right, pieces from the Sears 2010 spring line.
The WWD review was complimentary:
“… a fine example of high-fashion trends interpreted for the mass market — everything under $40 at Sears and under $30 at Kmart. The body-conscious attitude of late showed up in slimmer silhouettes for the professional look — pencil skirts and dresses with a belted waist.”
On the retail front we have word that Vera Bradley plans to open three more stores this year, in addition to last week’s Cincinnati opening. The new shops are slated for Palm Beach, opening Nov. 13 at the Gardens, and Tysons Corner, scheduled to open Oct. 16.
The company will also open and an outlet store at the Chicago Premium Outlets in Aurora.
One last note, this one on Burberry: it would seem we are requested to cease calling it Burberry Plaid, instead referring to it as Burberry Check. That suggestion comes from none other the label’s Creative Director an Christopher Bailey, in a recent profile in the New Yorker.
“And he hates when Burberry’s signature print is referred to as plaid: “People keep saying to me it’s a plaid, and I’m like, ‘No, it’s a check!'”
Tomorrow we’ll have loads of looks from the Burberry Spring 2010 Collection, being shown at London Fashion Week. On that happy note, G’Bye until next time!