Monday Muse: Banana Republic’s Layered Luxe
Banana Republic Fall 2015
For her second collection at the helm of Banana Republic, designer Marissa Webb wanted to prove that the line could be a fashion brand, not just a line for the stodgy office workers that see the shop as a place to pick up nondescript staples. The regular shoppers might have noticed a change if they’ve stepped into the brand’s stores lately, which have just gotten Webb’s very first shipment for the summer. And the stores themselves have been transformed. Webb’s mix of urban tailoring and louche layers have hit the floor, big time. She’s even created specific shop-in-shops for experimentation and exclusives. For fall ’15, she’s continuing the innovation, though it seems that she’s keeping the brand’s core in mind, because while there are plenty of changes afoot, don’t expect any major tectonic shifts coming from the new BR.
Banana Republic Fall 2015
Change comes slowly, we assume, because many of the pieces that Webb showed during the line’s February presentation seemed pretty safe. There were tailored staples (though we can’t say that they were yawn-worthy there’s something to be said about a simple, straightforward trench or peacoat) and plenty of work-appropriate options for men and women alike.
But it’s the things that made Webb a street style star in her own right that made this collection special. Webb is known for layers, bright colors and a devil-may-care attitude to mixing. That was what made the newest showing exciting. The brand’s DNA is still fully in tact, but Webb’s giving it a little bit of her juju and we think it’s about to hit its stride. Take accessories, which include boyfriend-friendly (and walk-ready) oxfords, kitten heels and loafers. Bags and beanies leant a streetwear edge with heavy hardware and thick, pebbled leather.
The models were polished and pretty, but they weren’t precious or too done (ahem, J. Crew, watch out). Webb’s injection of Technicolor hues and clashing patterns made this a viable vision for a fashion brand, not a mall staple. The guys didn’t have too much to rock their worlds, but in menswear, change comes even slower, so with a slimmer leg here and a higher rise there, the guys in your office might just start looking a little more Rat Pack and less Silicon Valley IT. Webb is walking a fine line in her signature sky-high heels, teetering between pushing the envelope and meeting the bottom line, and we think she’s striking the perfect balance. The brand’s loyalists will find plenty to love and the fresh cuts are giving shoppers (us included) a reason to visit a store they’d otherwise skip right over.
For more information, visit www.bananarepublic.com.