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Play’s the thing for fall at J. Crew. Its signature mix of blazers, sweaters and chinos taken from the boys and girlish frills, i.e. ruffles and Chantilly lace, were done with fun in mind. “We paid attention to things we know make people happy,” said creative director Jenna Lyons Mazeau of the T-shirts sporting giant jewel-encrusted necks and dog prints. “Everyone needs a little levity right now.” That statement was echoed in the light-as-air, lavender feathered gilet. On the men’s side, it was all about the unexpected. Classic pieces such as chunky cardigans, chalk-striped suits, buffalo-plaid sport shirts and trenchcoats sported unique touches such as leather buttons or lighter-weight fabrics that updated the trends and made them modern.

This story first appeared in the March 25, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.