Operations’ Benefit Package-------
Short of calling a collection “Markets and Consumers Alike Take Wait-and-See Approach to Stimulus,” it’s hard to see how the guys behind Operations could have fixed on a better theme for Fall ’09 than “Payday.” “I ran across these photos from the thirties and early forties, of factory workers waiting in line to pick up their checks at the end of the week,” explains Matteo Gottardi, who heads up the design of Operations’ collections for men and women. “Their uniforms are a little undone, and they’ve got their own hats and jackets on. I liked the idea that payday was that moment where individuality begins to reassert itself.” Gottardi also liked those Depression-era silhouettes, which he’s given a Katharine Hepburn-ish spin in Operations’ womenswear this season. Tomboy fabrics like tweed and wool in checks and plaids gird the collection, which is the most rounded Operations has shown yet. Gottardi and partners Michael Leen and Johannes Mahmood have tightened their selection of outerwear styles, leaving room for more nubby knits and jackets (including one standout version in leather-esque waxed and brushed cotton). “We’ve also introduced new categories this season, such as blazers and skirts,” Gottardi notes, pointing out one of his favorite pieces from Fall, a plaid skirt with a fishtail hem. “It’s more of a complete wardrobe, with more of a woman’s point-of-view.” It’s true: We girls like to get paid, too.