While working with clients and refreshing my own wardrobe over the last few months, four things have stood out about this year’s Spring and Summer collections. The first three observations are general, while the fourth is personal and specific.
First, green was named the colour of the season, and while there’s been plenty of green represented in stores, it hasn’t struck me as the colour. I’ve found that all colours are equally represented thus far.
Second, if the runway shows were anything to go by, we should have seen a greater assortment of skirt and dress lengths. Hemlines in the US are generally not knee-covering, especially on flared skirt styles.
Third, there was so much white footwear on the catwalks for Spring 2013, especially white booties, but this has not been represented in retail at all, where shades of tan reign supreme.
My fourth observation is more personal. For the first time in a very long time I am generally underwhelmed by the designer merchandise in stores. I am more than willing to pay the price for one beautiful and expensive piece that pulls at my heart strings, instead of purchasing five lower price pieces for the same amount of money. I enjoy “high-low” style — mixing high and low-end pieces in a single outfit — and I adore the feeling and look of impeccable workmanship and luxurious fabrications. But this season, as I browse better-end designer collections, I haven’t swooned at their offerings. And I usually do.
Cuts, fabrics and colours have generally not been to my taste, and that includes footwear and handbags. Yet I’ve found many, many items at Club Monaco, J.Crew and Zara that have pulled at my heart strings. In fact, I want to buy up half the stuff at Club Monaco at the moment, I love it so much. Similarly, the items at Nordstrom that caught my attention this year have been less expensive in-house brands and not my usual pricier go-to brands. I did purchase an Alexander Wang clutch and a few pairs of premium jeans. But for the rest, I’ve purchased more lower than higher end for Spring and Summer.
Leave no retail stone unturned has never proved to be more true, and each retailer has the chance to start afresh each season. I love this aspect of modern retail and I’m already excited about what will be on offer for Fall 2013 — both high and low end.
Of course, these observations might be regional, and the last one is particularly personal. Have you observed anything interesting about the last four months of retail?