It’s a Modern World At Ann Taylor
How to maintain the currency of the show-season cycle when the Internet and high-street stores render runway designs if not irrelevant, then maybe, oh, a bit tired before they hit the sales floors? It’s a question the fashion world has been grappling with of late, and one Ann Taylor is addressing head-on. “The shows are critical to editors and buyers,” said Lisa Axelson, the designer who’s been tapped to revamp the company’s image, “but we have real customers we need to reach in real time.” Her solution: a “see now, wear now” runway collection, where the run-of-show lists retail prices and upcoming availability alongside clothing descriptions. Axelson debuted her Fall/Holiday 2009 Modern Luxury line, a selection of pieces that build on the brand’s 55-year history of outfitting the sophisticated career woman. There were shirtdresses—an iconic Ann Taylor item, stocked in its first 1954 boutique—updated in graphite silk, great elbow- and three-quarter-sleeve toppers (the above bouclé jacket, if you’re curious, is available in December for $195), and slim cropped pants. Don’t look for any bland pantsuits here. As Axelson put it: “The emphasis is on versatile separates. We’re all wearing the same things now, just putting them together in different ways.” Is there anything more modern than that?