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Armani Conquers China, Chastises the Pope June 01st, 2012 @ 11:53 AM



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Layer, Lather, Repeat: Banana Republic's Fall Blend

Renata Espinosa
April 23rd, 2010 @ 12:36 AM - New York

Stuck in a snowdrift, but still need to show up to work looking chic? Here’s an idea from Banana Republic, courtesy of their Fall and Holiday 2010 collections, shown in New York on Thursday, April 22: Go ahead and mix up your suit with your hiking socks and boots, or throw on a pair skinny corduroy leggings underneath that silk dress. It's the blended beverage theory of dressing: a healthy mix of fresh ingredients, with a few dry staples as well.

“We have a re-invention of the modern wardrobe with that whole mix of what you need to work, to play, what you need to go out on a date,” said Simon Kneen, Banana Republic’s creative director and EVP of design. “Formal mixed with sportswear, mixed with casual, mixed with dressy.”

For women, that meant a dressy boucle jacket paired with a utilitarian, everyday cargo skirt, or a military-inspired cardigan layered over a slinky silk blouse. And pants were skinny, whether in stretchy wools, denims or corduroy, the better to tuck into clog boots or contrast with a chunky heeled oxford.

“The skinny leg is definitely important with that big volume on top, whether through layering, like a jacket with the cardigan,” explained Kneen.

For men, the mix included classic blazers worn over cargo pants or sport coats worn over denim, and boots with worn with everything, with pants legs tucked into thick socks.

“Quintessential modern pieces, but mixed in a modern way,” said Kneen.

To drive home the mixed up aesthetic, Banana Republic opted to present both the Fall and Holiday collections in the same runway show, instead of showing the Holiday later in a separate presentation as in season’s past.

“Holiday is a very big moment for any retail business, so for us, it’s an important one to recognize,” said Kneen. “And we’re just so in love with the collection this year, that we thought it was worth getting out on the runway.”

The Holiday collection this season meant a trip to the Himalayas for inspiration, which showed up in a range of thick sweaters, patterned and in soft heather grays and vegetable colors.

“The region is made up of so many different cultures that come together,” said Kneen. “Ancient and modern together, which we’re loving.”

While the layered look may sound familiar to savvy shoppers - it’s a trend that was pushed on runways throughout the major capitals last fall, and again this spring - Banana Republic is banking on the fact that this will be a trend here to stay for a while. They’ll be ready and waiting with a new camel coat that’s been slightly tweaked with a military edge, or cool sheepskin statement piece to update those everyday layers of knitwear and wool.

“Modern people, they don’t like uniforms,” said Kneen. “They like clothes that fit their life. It’s all about those great pieces and how you mix them up to make them feel fresh and new.”

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