First off, note the color scheme. I think the outfit in this picture, along with the alternative color swatches, pretty much captures it. The color palette says very 50s to me -- peppy, saturated pastels. Not your shy, misty, dreamy sort, but outgoing, Easter-egg shades.
Several other elements of this rollout, which continue in the Spring/Summer 2013 Lookbook, evoke the midcentury for me.
- Bright, kitschy floral motifs: Holy cow, these florals are happy! Bright, sunny colors (see above), slightly cartoonish rendering, and an intentionally over-the-top presence make for a delightful, witty take on 50s and 60s floral prints.
- Bird and butterfly prints: Tom Mora reportedly drew upon prints in old nature books for this collection, which manifests here in images of flying creatures ("put a bird on it"?). Some of these prints have more realism, while others are cartoonish and whimsical. Again, this trend evokes midcentury fashion for me.
- Saturated, minty green: In recent rollouts we've seen emerald green (Pantone Color of the Year for 2013!), lilac, and other shades as the dominant color story. Here, the dominant color is definitely a darker, more saturated mint green. There are three different mint green tweeds alone in this rollout! I've personally got my eye on the Collection Clover Tweed Shorts below.
- Brocades and jacquards: We're clearly witnessing the establishment of a favorite fabric for J.Crew, which has developed over the Fall and Holiday collections. The Gilded Brocade, in green and orange, is ubiquitous in this collection and shows up in everything from a cocktail dress to shorts. I'm in love with the Collection Jeweled Gilded Brocade Dress (what a name!), but given the price, I may just have to admire it from afar . . .
- Silky, shiny pants: If baroque fabrics aren't enough on their own, J.Crew has added icing to the cake by working them into another favorite motif: fancy pants. If you didn't get your fix of silky, shiny pants this past fall and winter, not to worry, there are a plethora of styles this season to sate your taste buds!
- Medallion prints: Combining the foulard visual pattern that's been so popular lately with an ethnic sensibility that is another theme in the Spring/Summer lookbook, these medallion prints offer an unexpected alternative to polka dots at a smaller scale, and paisley at a larger scale. I love the Mini Medallion print on the rich red background and could equally go for the dress or skirt.
- Decorative collars: We saw some of these back in Fall/Winter, and the familiar collar iterations -- jeweled, solid -- are back, along with a new Liberty floral variation.
- Colorblocking: We saw many well-loved colorblocking pieces this past fall and winter, and the trend is back this season to give a chic take on basics such as cardigans and blouses. And holy cow, those pants . . .
And . . . of special note: some second chances!
- Micro-Tweed Jackets: I've been kicking myself for missing the Boucle Peplum Jacket from the fall/winter, but the Micro-Tweed Jacket in Navy is here to offer redemption! I love that it's a knit, like the Boucle Peplum Jacket, so it'll be easier to move in, and has a double-ended zipper as well. I also like that it doesn't have a peplum, which I was conflicted about with the Boucle Peplum Jacket. Oh, and that Poppy color looks kind of tempting -- I might just have to try that one out, too!
- Feather jewelry collection: An SA once informed me that when J.Crew does collaborations with Lulu Frost, it will frequently model its own concurrent jewelry collection to cohere with the Lulu Frost pieces. Which is fortunate, because the Lulu Frost Wheat Earrings I had my eye on quickly blew out of stock after release. J.Crew's similar Feather Earrings (and other pieces) are gorgeous in the same dazzling, delicate way, and are relatively affordable!
Ok, well that's it for me. What did you think of the new rollout? Have you snagged any items yet? Have you seen or tried any in person?