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“Designing beautiful clothes.” That was Isabel Toledo’s objective for her spring Isabel Toledo x Lane Bryant capsule collection for special-size retail chain Lane Bryant. The designer was charged with bringing fashion to a segment of consumers who can feel neglected by upscale brands, and with Thursday night’s show at the Seagram Building, Toledo sought to dispel that notion.
This story first appeared in the March 24, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The designer infused the lineup with her arty aesthetic via Cuban influences and prints designed by her husband Ruben, worked on ladylike silhouettes with flounce and feminine romance. “It’s about the proportion of the clothes,” Toledo said of designing for the Lane Bryant label. “I always say designers all have that customer, just not on the runway.”
There were several standouts, especially those that captured a Fifties vibe with tailored tops and full skirts, including a chic belted tuxedo jacket shown with a skirt embroidered with silver paisley motifs. Some of the coats looked great, too, most notably the double-faced brown-and-black wrap style.
“It’s the new Lane Bryant,” said Lane Bryant chief executive officer Linda Heasley after the show, referring to how the specialty retailer for sizes 14 to 28 is elevating its merchandise via designer collaborations. Isabel Toledo was the first, and Sophie Theallet is creating a lingerie collection for fall. Heasley is in talks with other designers to add to the lineup.
“We are breaking the myths,” Heasley said. “Our clients can put on a belt. Our clients can wear stripes. She can wear a lot of the things she was told she couldn’t. We are pushing the thinking even further in the proportions.”