For Ann Taylor’s fall collection, creative director Austyn Zung was inspired by “eccentric icons of the Sixties, but in a subtle way — we never want to do anything that feels literal,” she said during a presentation at Ann Taylor’s Times Square headquarters, set with vignettes of models lounging on midcentury furniture. Latter-day takes on Sixties shapes and styles included the gentle trapeze cut of a red strapless evening top and matching cropped pants; a shift with cropped flared sleeves; jacquard tailoring; botanical and panther prints on ladylike dresses and the midcentury palette of mauve, blush and moss-green on a faux-fur jacket. Accessories — chunky earrings and pointy-toe pumps with bow accents and low, block-heel styles — completed the lineup’s pulled-together polish. Everything was wearable, but it was not a collection of basics.
It’s been a year since Zung, who also over sees Loft and Lou & Grey, took over the creative reins at Ann Taylor. Her first collection was for spring. “There’s been a good move forward for the brand,” she said. “We’re getting back to its heritage of sportswear. We had gotten caught in this place for several years of wear-to-work, wear-to-work, wear-to-work. This is what people wear to work. They wear sportswear and mix and match it [with] specialty pieces.”
As for overseeing all three of the brands housed under Ann Inc., which was acquired by the Ascena Retail Group in August, Zung said, “It makes sense. I can make sure we have diversity in all three of the collections. We have such a great opportunity here to serve all women. If you think about Lou & Grey, Loft and Ann Taylor, we have a lot of women.”