Elizabeth and James
January 08, 2014 New York
If The Row is aspirational, Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen have always used their contemporary Elizabeth and James line to address the way real girls are wearing clothes now. "I've never seen so many layers in my life," said Mary-Kate (who knows a thing or two about layering herself) at a Pre-Fall preview. The new collection had a slight nineties, My So-Called Life vibe thanks to a handful of plaid pieces that were creatively styled. A checked shirtdress, in particular, got a lot of play. In one look, it was worn open and loose like a duster coat, and paired with a simple white T-shirt and slouchy, cropped culottes. In a different look, the same dress was shown underneath an embellished pencil skirt so that the excess hem peeked out. Another winning idea here was a basic black slip teamed with a slim suit—the dress-over-pants trend has been getting traction this season. Otherwise, the designers focused on casual pieces, like cozy sweaters and soft leather skirts. The duo continued to expand E+J's accessories range; their popular sling backpack looked cool updated in a woven tapestry fabric.