13 posts tagged "Banana Republic"
“Retail kismet” was how creative director Simon Kneen described the timing of the Banana Republic Issa London Collection, which debuted yesterday with an event at the retailer’s Soho flagship. The launch comes just two weeks after the world’s royal fever was reignited with the birth of Prince George. Kate Middleton put Issa on the map in 2010, when she announced her engagement to Prince William while wearing a teal wrap dress by the London label. Her frock, of course, sold out straight away. A similar style is featured in the collaborative capsule, and Kneen was happy to report that the BR version, too, sold out almost immediately. (Compared to Kate’s original, which went for over $500, the BR version will only set customers back $130.) That look wasn’t the only highlight in the new lineup, which included a range of easy day dresses in playful prints and bright colors, as well as statement-making costume jewelry, envelope clutches, and T-strap sandals. “The thing that drew us to Issa is its iconic silhouette, which works so beautifully on so many different body types. It’s clingy in all the right places and soft where you want it to be,” said Kneen, who pointed out other favorites, like an intarsia-knit shift and a kimono-sleeve number with an allover pop-art zebra pattern. “I call it ‘human camouflage,’” he said. The red telephone box and classically clad Beefeaters stationed outside of the store got shoppers in the U.K. spirit.
Black Friday may seem ages away, but after viewing Banana Republic’s latest collection, we’ve got holiday gifting on the brain. “I was thinking of Gstaad, walking down the street and finding all these little curiosities,” said creative director Simon Kneen during a preview of BR’s Holiday 2013 collection last night. He was referring to the lineup’s five subdivisions. Dubbed Shimmer, Print, and Candy for women, and Black and White and Après Ski for men, the mini capsules were conceived to mirror the types of boutiques one might see in quaint, ritzy mountain towns.
Those capsules will offer plenty of gift-worthy options, in both ready-to-wear and accessories. Après Ski, for example, includes a slew of smart Fair Isle knits for the gents, while Candy gives women options for a tropical winter getaway—Pop-bright faux pony-hair flats included. Kneen, though, is particularly smitten with the zebra- and ocelot-screened Prints component. “I fell in love with the animal thing…. It’s kind of stepping out—or stepping up for us. It’s very feminine, very soft.”
The collection, which ranges from $16.50 to $475, will hit stores in early November, just before the December 5 release of the brand’s recently announced L’Wren Scott capsule. The latter, too, has a holiday theme, and promises everything from cozy knits to cashmere blankets.
Fashion is having an affair to remember with Russia. There’s the ubiquitous presence of Muscovite It girls like Elena Perminova and Miroslava Duma, Ulyana Sergeenko’s noteworthy Couture outing last week, and the rise of folksy dressing during Resort. Banana Republic is catching the Russian wave with a new holiday capsule, inspired by the upcoming Anna Karenina film starring Keira Knightley and Jude Law (based, of course, on Leo Tolstoy’s classic nineteenth-century novel). Creative director Simon Kneen went a step beyond name-checking the movie and brought in its costume designer, Jacqueline Durran, to style part of the collection.
“I was looking at all the rich fabrics we had that were a continuation from last season—the velvets, faux fur, and lace—and thought, this is feeling very Russian. So we arranged to work with Jacqueline and when she came in, it was like playing dress-up. It was a total kismet moment—which is what the book is all about, right?” Kneen told Style.com at a press preview yesterday. (For the record, he’s read it.) The result was wearable clothes of the usual BR mold that had just a touch of theatricality to them. A sharp wool military jacket was paired with a fur Cossack hat and dangling chandelier earrings, for example. Also noteworthy here were a head-to-toe winter white ensemble and cozy tartan topcoats for both the boys and the girls. Bejeweled bib necklaces, slim leather portfolios, and feather hair accessories topped it all off.
The Anna Karenina collection launches in Banana Republic stores on October 30; for more information, visit BananaRepublic.com. The film debuts November 9.
Ambience has been key for Banana Republic’s past few presentations. The Fall runway show had editors sitting pretty on settees at the Bowery Hotel, and yesterday’s Holiday 2011 event took place at Greenwich Village swank spot The Lion. Creative director Simon Kneen (looking quite bronze from a recent vacation in Saint-Tropez) was on hand to offer bons mots about the collection. For womenswear, it was all about the “anti-establishment princess who’s bringing a bit of sparkle to a party that I want to be at,” he said. So there were a variety of L.B.D.’s covered in sequins both big and small, some topped with nicely tailored blazers; another cluster of mannequins displayed soirée-ready jewel-tone looks styled with marabou clutches, among other accessories plucked from the “under $100″ table. On the boys’ side, “he’s more of a rogue,” said Kneen. “He’s sitting in his chair at home while she’s fixing him a drink.” Whatever that means—it translated into hooded wool toggle coats, cashmere scarves, and fingerless rugby gloves. Just looking at all the thermal materials made you want to reach for a glass of the chilled vino waiters were serving.
For its Spring ’11 collection, Banana Republic sent its girls on a desert safari, picking up the seventies-YSL vibe that’s been in the air of late. But something’s blossoming in these hot climes. Among its accessories offerings, which also included oversized statement necklaces in metallic breastplate designs, creative director Simon Kneen created blooming canvas-flower brooches—a little Rochas Spring 2010, a little vintage Carrie Bradshaw. They’ll no doubt cost less at the register than Marco Zanini’s corsages did, so you can go ahead and make yourself a full bouquet—no green thumb required.