The L’Wren Scott collection for Banana Republic certainly has a more grown-up feel than most designer collaborations to date but is in line with other Banana Republic collaborations like the Milly and Issa lines, that is to say, clothing professional enough for casual work-wear and preppy enough for sophisticated down-time, although the L’Wren Scott collection is definitely more glamorous, owing no doubt, to this festive time of year.
One would have to be forgiven for thinking that by buying a piece of this collection a piece of the L’Wren Scott aesthetic could be had for a much lower price point. Upon re-viewing Scott’s past collections it becomes clear that this collection cannot hold a candle to Scott’s perfectly executed designs for her own collection but that’s the point isn’t it? A consumer knows they won’t be getting designer quality. They do expect the designer’s aesthetic will push the partnering retailer into more adventurous design territory that they have so far shied away from.
Thankfully rather than attempt to reproduce cheaper versions from past collections Scott creates a colorful grab-bag that references things she is well-known for: the body-elongating dresses often worn by celebrities, the prints from her propaganda collection and sophisticated separates.
Of these one can clearly make links between the Gunmetal Sequin Party Press and the dress worn by Marion Cotillard to the Inception premiere (or a number of sequin numbers worn by the likes of Nicole Kidman and Penelope Cruz over the years.) It is also tempting to make links between the resort 2013 Propaganda collection and the lip print skirt and secretary blouse of the collaboration though there are definite variations in shape. The separates from the collaboration like the sequin cardigans, jewel-tone separates and hints of fur definitely owe much to Scott’s Fall 2012 collection. A consumer can also wonder whether the subversive Nipponisme Spring 2014 collection was translated into the bright peony prints found in the Banana Republic collaboration; L’Wren Scott’s aesthetic is definitely visible without compromising the integrity of her own line.
The collection also offers a few surprises such a blanket and printed pajama sets (that I’m tempted to wear as a romper come Spring.) The prices of most of the pieces hover somewhere between $100 and $200 which is on par with frocks from Banana Republic’s regular lines. As far a designer collaborations go, the prices are on the higher side though BR must be commended for staying true to their customer. Most likely this collection will bring new shoppers to Banana Republic’s doors in search of Christmas party clothes and glamour-up people’s perception of the retailer.
As a fan of collaborations I must say that I am excited by the number of pieces in this collection and intrigued by the styling options beyond the holiday season though at prices like these I may have to limit my purchases to one or two items. I quite like the pajamas and lip-print skirt. I also have my eye on a few dresses. The striped secretary blouse seems like a tough item to pull-off and I fear that the bags may be a tad too kitschy to be good sellers. The collection does offer straightforward options such a pants and cinched-waist blazers that are a no-brainer for any woman, collaboration fiend or not. Hopefully by the time I get to the store the collection isn’t sold out and I can try on a few options before I make my choice.