Collaborations are a touchy subject in the fashion world. There are obviously a lot of reasons to be excited about them. For one thing, they make goods from the likes of Isabel Marant and Derek Lam accessible to people who don’t want to drop hundreds on a single item. For another, they make people who ordinarily don’t care about the fashion industry a little bit more aware of its major players.
But naysayers think these collaborations are blurring the lines between high end and high street. I won’t disagree with this point – after all, the fashion industry and the garment industry are two different things, and while I certainly own and wear items from the likes of H&M and Forever 21, I don’t think of the things these stores sell as ‘fashion.’ They’re just clothes – fashion, on the other hand, is art.
I can understand why high fashion enthusiasts would fight against these collabs. But the important thing to note is, if you’re buying a piece from, say, Phillip Lim’s Target collection, you’re not buying Phillip Lim. You’re buying something that blends the designer’s aesthetic with Target-level fabric and quality.
With that being said, if I’m drawn to a piece from one of these collaborations, I’ll buy it. I think they can be really wonderful – they challenge designers to create for an entirely different demographic, and the results of this can be incredibly interesting. And regardless of whether or not the pieces can stand up to true designer duds in terms of quality and craftsmanship, it’s definitely an exciting feeling when you know that Prabal Gurang had something to do with the creation of your shoes.
But enough of that. Let’s discuss the collaboration that launches this weekend when Peter Pilotto and Target release a line that looks…pretty great. Obviously these collabs can be a little lackluster. Some photograph beautifully but look less than impressive in person and I’m hoping this one isn’t one of them. I’ve already added a few items to my wish list (and if they’re not available in stores, there’s a chance I can get them on Net-a-Porter!) Let’s take a look at the pieces I love and how I’d wear them.
1.) I’m usually not a fan of anything floral but this dress won me over. I love the punch of neon and the flattering A-line cut. This is one I’d need to see in person because if the material isn’t good, it just won’t fall well. I hope it’s just as good in person because this could be a great summer day dress.
2.) Can you believe this is a shirt layered under a dress? I love layering and would definitely wear these two pieces together. The slight contrast between the prints is great.
3.) A great shirtdress is always a smart investment. This one would work worn alone, over leather pants, tucked into jeans, or worn open over a dress or pant/shirt combo as a vest.
4.) Perfect with black pants or shorts, but even better when worn with….
5.) This skirt. I love coordinated separates right now and I would absolutely wear these pieces together. I’d probably leave the top untucked. both pieces would be great alone, too.
6) This piece best embodies the value of designer collaborations. Even if it isn’t crafted perfectly, the decision to mix different-sized prints is genius. It’s done so well, it had to have been conceived by a real, talented designer. I’d love to wear this with a black turtleneck and booties for a slightly mod look.
7.) I’m vertically challenged so I stick to skinny cuts on my bottom half. Still, I’m excited to try these on just for kicks. I normally don’t condone crop tops, but if you must do it, combine with a pair of pants like these.
8.) I don’t need to say much about this dress. It’s pretty, it’s classic, it’ll look good on most frames.
9.) I hate sneakers but there is something charming about these slip-ons. I don’t care for the trend overall but I think these would be cute with a simple dress.
10.) As usual, I saved the best for last. This dress is what got me excited about this collaboration. Eveeything from the shape to the color scheme is amazing. I just hope they used neoprene or some other sturdy fabric to really make the shape of this special.
I think this one will do extremely well, especially since it’ll be sold internationally on Net-a-Porter. I think global customers will appreciate this sort of thing more than Americans will. What do you think of this collection? Doesn’t it make you wish you were at the beach?