Well before designers opted out of runway and formal presentations in favor of more intimate or experiential formats this season, Nanette Lepore was already scaling back — notably in terms of what she’s putting out there for people to digest. Her look books now consist of a handful of images (eight total for fall) that best highlight the collection’s theme. It’s a way of curating a cohesive message and simultaneously tease consumers and buyers alike into wanting to see more (the full range has 60 looks). Not to mention everything that’s photographed photographs well.
Her themes of late have been more personal, as well — see last season’s response to the harsh political environment — this season referencing all things Scottish because her daughter, Violet, is looking into a semester abroad in Scotland. Lepore did her homework and maintained a myriad of references, from Robert Burns’ romantic poetry influencing a soft thread across silhouettes, to pops of color and floral patterns winking at Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh’s paintings. There was a great balance of masculine and feminine without the seriousness of having to be too formal or too casual.
In fact, what stood out was the transitional quality of day-to-dinner. Lepore’s customer is a lady, aged 30 to 60, with an established career; the minimal camel coats and plaid tailoring with ruffle accents are certainly more classic offerings for that demographic. And though the silky floral-printed pajamas are an easy route to looking put together, Lepore noted during the look book shoot that broken apart, the top might be something Violet would pair with jeans or cargo pants for a less affected look. The Peruvian knits, including a mustard cardigan with kilt pin closure and a fuzzy red pullover, were other inviting pieces with that transitional element. Noting that customers are attracted to a rack by a great hit of color, Lepore offered a saturated magenta (trend alert!) twinset that equally serves the edgy urbanite and bold working woman who’s totally confident in her sartorial choices.