Choosing the beach as the theme of your spring collection is a no-brainer. J. Crew’s head of women’s design Tom Mora made it interesting by clashing two very different seaside cultures — laid-back California surf and turn-of-the-century times on the Venetian lido, where beachgoers “were very buttoned-up,” said Mora. “They would wear lace and eyelet, tailored linen blazers and nautical stripes.”
Using both sides of that story gave him plenty to work with: the neon and Neoprene of the West Coast, as seen in pops of bright color and refined yet casual sport touches, such as a flippy scuba skirt, splatter-paint cargos and slim silk pants with multicolored stripes meant to look like the grain of a surfboard. From the classic Italians, eyelet and lace were done in modern geometric patterns, along with a plethora of blue-and-white stripes.