J.Crew, a melange of fashion that continues to wander about the fashion world aimlessly – like a child who has just stepped into Harrods for the first time. This season, it certainly exhibited its diffidence and inability to draw upon the already established fashion houses as inspiration. There was a reason why Liberty and Lilly (Pulitzer) never merged, courted, or even met. And the reason is all within J.Crews “Collection” for Spring 2013.
To recreate what has already been done for decades is a difficult feat to take on, but its knowing whether one should, there in lies the question.
The Embroided Daisy Shirt: Five words: PLEASE DON’T WEAR THE DAISIES. There is perhaps person in the world could pull it off: Doris Day. (and I mean, perhaps) And it just reminds me of an old ladies swim cap.
Color Block Print – One could jockey in the Palio di Siena with these trousers. All that’s missing is the horse and a bridle (no saddle in this race!) The Swiss Guard wear more symmetry.
What perhaps muddles J.Crew, is not the cuts or the styles, but their choice of madcap prints, sequenes, and colours. J.Crew was always the store to rely on if you needed a simple Oxford blouse, Chino blazer, some nice capris (remember the Minnie pant?) – items that you could then add to with accessories or other brands. You could mix and match, but most of all it was reliable. Ask any prep-school(er) and they’ll tell you that at least 1/4 of their closet was J.Crew.
Secondly, or thirdly (I’ve lost count) by selling classics, that are well known, as “uncommon finds” propels an air of naiveté on their part. Solodus, Comme des Garçons, Barbour, Saint James, Tretorn – are not surreptitious discoveries. They are already somewhat commonplace and, for those who know their salt, are already somewhere in our closet.
I charge J.Crew to dig deeper, don’t reveal the pyramids, we know they are there, but go beyond. If its a boutique they want to be and the idea is there then they must try harder at discovering brands that perhaps are not already established but are on the cusp. Discovering their niche is akin to the undoing of a Gordian knot. But it must be done.
I wonder which way J.Crew will go next , I wonder, don’t you?