Elizabeth and James
June 06, 2013 New York
"Easy, clean, and casual," was how Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen described their new offering for Elizabeth and James. And while those are adjectives tossed around frequently by industry folk—particularly during a commercial season like Resort—they aptly captured both the collection and the duo's approach to their little-sister brand. The lineup was full of plays on transparency. Breezy shift dresses were inset with sheer panels featuring a boxy maze motif reminiscent of hieroglyphics, and a diaphanous plaid shirt-and-skirt set offered a delicately elegant twist on grunge. Dense jersey pullovers and a stretch-leather sheath had straightforward appeal, as did the sporty flat sandals shown in the lookbook. (Mary-Kate wore the same ones during the preview.) The designers included more denim here than before, saying, "We just want to put jeans or a T-shirt with everything these days." A washed-chambray button-up paired with boyfriend-fit dungarees was a study in cool nonchalance—a chunky gold chain necklace and python folder "lunch-pail bag," as they called it, gave the outfit a polished finish.