NY Fashion Week: Luella
As a Brit, it's almost bittersweet to see big names in London fashion upping sticks and moving to New York the moment the get a sniff of success. As a naïve fashion student, I used to dream of seeing Matthew Williamson showing his stuff in our capital city. Alas he, like many others, has moved on to the Big Apple, where fashion is a business, not a creative industry.
Another Brit designer who now shows in New York is Luella. Her recent line of basics for bargain basement store Target was (despite selling out) lacking the finesse you'd expect of a celebrated designer, so she had a lot to prove. Could she show her real worth with her mainline collection?
Um, yes and no. The collection takes inspiration from many decades and styles and has a slightly muddled feel as a result. From Vivienne Westwood-style tartan coats and bustier dresses to a solitary little black dress with an interesting cut-out front, it covers all bases, but possibly doesn't pay enough attention to any of them.
The music-based inspiration of her collection saw Lily Donaldson strutting down the runway as a rockabilly-mod in big shades, skinny jeans, patent shoes, a pussycat bow blouse and a monogrammed cardi, while seconds later another model sported a completely different look in opaque tights, a shorts suit, and a funky animal print handbag. Prim buttoned-up necks were prolific, often topped off with bows, bow ties and pearls. It was Chanel meets The Libertines. Grown up chic for young trendies!
One thing that did strike me about the collection is how similar it looks to the things we're already seeing on the high street at the moment. Satin pencil skirts, albeit ruched at the front, skinny trousers, 60s shift dresses and puffed sleeves. Obviously that's great for us as it means this is a look that's easy to copy right now. Not so good for Luella, who might just be out of date come September...