If your twitter feed looks anything like mine, you’ve undoubtedly heard the news: Lanvin – the uber tres chic Frenchiest fashion house in existence – has announced an upcoming collabs with H&M.
The fashion media’s already mulling over what the capsule preview’s going to look like, and the anticipation is rabid, I tell you. RABID.
In the spirit of putting the gullible parties at ease, I’ve concocted my own preview of Lanvin for H&M based on the ghosts of designer collaborations past. I think it’s fairly accurate.
Sidebar: Should you ever find yourself in need of downloadable photos of H&M stock, pretend you’re Dutch or German or whatevs and browse the international online store; you’ll get the pics AND learn new words like “Jakker” and “Bluser,” which is superfun.
I don’t have the checking account balance required to see/touch Lanvin in person, but the photos alone are cause for drooling.
I was under the impression that class and sophistication couldn’t be achieved via animal print. The Leopard Print Taffeta Double Breasted Trench above ($3,990.00) proves me wrong in spades.
(Note: Lanvin’s price points are a known cause of nausea for those unfamiliar. Try not to hurl.)
So. What are we to expect from said trench’s “reasonably priced” incarnation?
I don’t mean to denigrate editorial efforts made on behalf of the designer toward producing a decent product. But let’s be honest: To a multi-billion dollar corporation like H&M, Lanvin’s capsule collection isn’t an opportunity to up the ante on quality.
It’s a way for them to slap a well-known designer’s name on their merch, charge triple the collection’s production cost, and con fashion-conscious shoppers into paying for it.
More “capsule previews” to come. Bah!
I’ve always been impressed by Vena Cava‘s ability to turn potentially unforgiving materials a la satin, silk and chiffon into figure flattering gems. I assume the process of doing so isn’t exactly cost-effective – what with the $300 – $700 price range and all – but my inability to afford the goods hasn’t tainted my respect for the thoughtful design inherent in each piece.
Alas, Recession + Pricey Merch = Unsold Goods. Vena Cava’s attempt to survive by collaborating with mid-range brands is a smart business move.
If only designs intended for luxurious material translated to cheaply made synthetic blends. Before we review Vena Cava for Aqua, a brief discussion of Aqua itself is in order. The quality of the in-house line’s more Forever 21 than DVF, but it gets away with an average price point of $88 anyway. Put a $78 cardigan in a sea of $195 blouses, and shoppers will be too gleeful over its borderline-reasonable price to realize the truth: The cardy in question is crafted out of piss poor polyester, and will inevitably pill in one wash.
Aqua is the Bloomingdale’s equivalent of Macy’s Juniors Department: Cheaply-made trendy clothes with a lifespan mirroring their In expiration date. The highbrow environment in which it’s sold tends to exempt its price points from extensive scrutiny, but don’t be fooled. Keep your guard up if it ever crosses your path.
So. How did Vena Cava handle the challenge of turning barftastic material blends into designer-sanctioned gold?
B plus for effort; D minus for execution.
These two tops might look similar, but observe them in terms of fit and flattery. The high-end version at left is a drape-y cut that still manages to give the torso some semblance of shape. The Aqua version at right is more of a painter’s smock than a blouse. HeLLO! Can I get a WAIST?!
Nextly, we have the much-coveted military jacket – a coat cut to accommodate A cups only, generally speaking. Again, both jackets look similar, and again, the waist is where things go awry. What, praytell, is the goal of the olive number – to turn the wearer into a fashion savvy version of Spongebob? An epic fail on the execution end. ICK.
Lastly, we have coats. Actually, we have one coat, and one schmata. Then again, Frumptastic could be like-so-haute for Fall 2010 – stranger things have happened on the runway.
Vena Cava: The next time you’re approached about a collabs, feel the quality of the material you’ll be handling before you fully commit. You have a reputation to uphold.
Fans of Vena Cava: I don’t want to hear any crap about how this collabs helps you snag the look for less or whatever. If the quality is shit, it’s going to look like shit. You want Vena Cava? Get your ass to any resale store or consignment shop that deals in on-trend merch, and hunt for the real deal. The last time I hit Beacon’s Closet, I saw not one, not two, but FIVE Vena Cava dresses gracing the racks, all new, all with original tags.
I abstained from indulging, and left them for you local gals instead. Because I’m generous like that.
It appears even my stellar brand knowledge is susceptible to trickery. In spite of similar name/logo styling, the Sevens Jean Shorts on which I previously posted are NOT 7 for All Mankind. The real deal also goes for around $17.00 at Buff Ex, so I’m guessing the buyers were tricked as well. Had these been $11.00 (the usual resale price for mid-range denim lines as opposed to those of the designer ilk) I’d have known something was up.
Whatevs. I still heart the shorts. Let’s move on, shall we?
So. Mulberry’s upcoming Target line is prompting all kinds of feigned excitement in ye old blogosphere. You have to be shitting me.
If Mulberry sanctions the cheap copying of itself, it gets a cut of the profits. If someone copies it without their consent, it doesn’t. Otherwise, they’re identical, and by that I mean they’re both inauthentic and made in sweatshops.
Stay tuned for additional kvetching and (more importantly) reduced-price Mulberry options. There’s a better way to get it for less than Target, and it’s called EBAY.
A crash course in coding, technical jargon, blog-building et. al has its perks (i.e. the glorious redesign you see before you). It also means I haven’t penned anything remotely interesting in approximately three weeks (i.e. my writing hath turned to shit). A rant tends to un-block my creative flow, so let’s give it a go with the ludicrousness that is the Gap + CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund capsule collection.
Good news first (that’s me getting the boring shit out of the way) – there’s sustainable jewelry. Fine. The animal-friendly harvesting of watersnake skin beads and naturally shed buffalo horns suggests a bit of a creature fetish, the term ‘skin beads’ needs serious work, but that’s neither here nor there. What’s important is what’s always important in Cheap JAP land: COST. A $38 wooden bracelet is irritatingly reminiscent of Urban Outfitters’ accessories. A $248 necklace means GAP is living in an alternate universe and calling itself SCOOP. Newsflash: ‘Sustainable’ means using what’s already out there to make new material goodies. If you’re not paying for the raw materials, shouldn’t the cost go DOWN? And don’t give me that oh-but-the-craftsmanship-raises-the-cost crap; Novica has a ton of sustainable jewelry options under $100. It can be done. Moving on.
The price points on the clothes boggle the mind, obvs, and reinforce the offense inflicted on shoppers by most fast fashion collabs: Designer X for Chain Store Y items are a big EFF YOU to the average customer’s expectations. You go into GAP to pick up a new dress; you’re probs planning on spending less than $75. You’re thrilled to find a stunner in habotai silk, and – because you’ve shopped at the GAP before – you think you know what to expect, so you don’t look at the price tag until you’re en route to the dressing room. The number $300 catches your eye, and you have to hold the tag up to your face to believe it. A $300 dress? At the fucking GAP?! Bubble burst accomplished. Meh.
The fact that the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund capsule collections are exclusive to GAP’s 5th Avenue ‘Concept Store’ (pretension alert) is no accident. It’s good business. GAP looked at the numbers for last year’s heavily promoted capsule collections – Vena Cava‘s ode to khaki; Alexander Wang‘s study in diaper shorts – realized shoppers nationwide didn’t take the bait, and decided not to waste their dollars advertising unknown designers to people who can’t afford $300 dresses. Limiting the collections to NYC does two things:
(1) Targets a market fashion-obsessed enough to get ripped off at the GAP.
(2) Makes it seem special, because *exclusive* implies dwindling supply and excess demand (neither of which actually exist).
Just a hunch.
Bravo, GAP. Also shame on you. :P
The Raincoat – dig the color, cut looks reasonably flattering.
The Ruched Skirt – meh overall, demerits for an in-between length that makes 90% of legs look stumpy. The hat – why?
The Snap Tape Dress – uber original, stellar snap detail, destined to be the rock star of an otherwise mediocre collection. I am, however, wondering how the open, lace-up neckline will respond to the challenge of supporting real, live breasts. Outlook not good.
The Sailor Dress – pattern, length and styling get a plus. The socks/heels combo – heinously distracting to the point of obscuring all the above.
The Ruffled Dress – eyes are burning due to an overly enthusiastic use of ruched tulle. A belated holiday party disaster made more offensive by an audacious $79.99 price tag. Forever 21 a much more reasonable alternative to cheaply-made party garb. Boo.
The Gown – I like the print, but for $69.99? Beotch please.
The Moto Leather Jacket – a $200 offense to eighties style, why spend that at Target when you can get a legit vintage jacket of decent quality for the same amount?
The Tuxedo Skirt – ruined by the bow tie. Like, we get it.
The Tuxedo Bodysuit – What. The. Fuck.