It’s officially springtime. That means it’s finally time for the highly anticipated spring 2012 collections to be worn and admired. It’s all quite silly; the fall collections just came out a few weeks ago and we’re just now starting to wear this season’s trends. The new clothes have hit stores, which means that it is the perfect time for a trunk show. An Elizabeth + James trunk show, to be exact. At a boutique in the Bowery. On a sunny Thursday afternoon.
I’d never been to a trunk show before, so I had absolutely zero idea what to expect. It turns out they basically just have the collection on display. Since I went on behalf of Chictopia, I was allowed to take photographs of the garments. Not gonna lie: it was a tad awkward being the only one in the whole store snapping pictures, but I probably won’t ever see those people again so it’s okay.
There were a few trends that were kind of dominating the collection that was designed by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. There was an abundance of light, pale colors like white, cream and beige, as well as several bright pink pieces, like a straight up fuschia LOOK-AT-ME-ERRYBODY blazer. Florals were a major theme (when are they not in a spring collection?) as well as classic stripes and easy breezy (beautiful Covergirl) silhouettes. In addition to having their ready-to-wear pieces on display, they also had their shoes, jewelry and eyewear lines at Blue & Cream, the boutique the trunk show was held at.
The whole collection had a very cool-girl California-meets-New-York vibe. The flowy shapes are reminiscent of West Coast style (think Song of Style’s Aimee Song). They reference the perpetual spring and summer weather in California, from the floral prints to the pinks and whites. The designers are from there, so it’s no surprise that they wanted to allude to their western roots. Something about the clothes reminds me of Ladurée macarons. Is that weird? Yes. Yes it is. Mary-Kate and Ashley never need to know that I’ve compared their clothing to a French dessert. We’ll keep that secret between you and I.
Then you see the structured pieces, the feathery jackets, the sequined shorts—the garments are practically shouting, “I’M FROM NEW YORK, CAN’T YA TELL?” Yes, we can. The whole collection seems like something that Natalie Suarez from the blog Natalie Off-Duty. She was (and really still is) a California gurl, but you can’t dress like a west-coaster in New York. That doesn’t fly. She’s toughened up a bit since she moved to the city. The same goes for Mary-Kate and Ashley. They were born in California but are now pioneering the heroin chic look here in New York City. The Elizabeth + James spring ready-to-wear clothes are just like their personal style: hard and soft. Probably one part hard, three parts soft, but not like a Diet-Coke-with-ice-hold-the-ice situation. The blazers and tailored pants are what make up the “hard” part of the collection, with things like sunflower yellow palazzo pants and raglan sleeve floral cape tops reppin’ the softness.
The jewelry was fairly simple. Big jewels and all that jazz; nothing we haven’t seen before in a Ross-Simons catalogue. The sunglasses were Rag & Bone-esque with some Ray Bans-y-ness thrown in there. Nothing revolutionary like last summer’s Prada baroque glasses, but nothing boring either. They fit the collection well. No complaints here. As for shoes…well, to be honest, I wasn’t quite sure where they were hiding their shoes, so I can’t report much on that front. But from what I can tell from the website, the twins aren’t over platform shoes yet. And why should they be? They’re kind of incredible.
All in all, it was a pretty strong collection. Mary-Kate and Ashley’s main line, The Row, still wins, but Elizabeth + James is not far behind.
Check out the whole lookbook here, just for kix.
Main photo via fashionwashere.net; all other photos taken by Odelia Kaly
By Odelia Kaly