NYFW: JILL STUART F/W 2014

Jill Stuart may be one of the most fashionable people in the United States. She sold her first pieces at Bloomingdales when she was only 15. Her homes have been featured in Elle Décor, Hamptons Magazine, Vogue Living, InStyle, Teen Vogue, and many other magazines. Her fashion line, founded in 1993, was an instant retail hit and still manages, season after season, to draw a strong number of what are by now habitual fans as well as delighting those just starting to discover her.

I was a bit concerned with her Spring/Summer 2014 line because it was so sheer as to be practically unwearable for the vast majority of people. Ms. Stuart’s Fall/Winter line is much more opaque, however, and largely seasonally appropriate for the weather. As one might expect, the line is primarily black and white, with just a few touches of color in deep plum, dark blue and a muted red just to keep things interesting. Hemlines are still very, very short, which can get a bit chilly this time of year, but she counters that with some full-length coats that are more than sufficient for keeping warm.

We see a fair amount of leather in this collection, a touch that is certainly very popular this season, and as we’ve seen others do, Ms. Stuart couldn’t resist the urge to cover some of the panels with little gold studs. I suppose even good girls have a touch of bad girl wanting to get out.

The silhouettes are as feminine as ever, with plenty of frills and lace. Ms. Stuart knows how to tailor for the female form without needing to use visual trickery such as peplum. Granted, this means one is going to have to actually pay attention to the condition of their female form if you are planning to wear a Jill Stuart dress. The looks are not very forgiving to those whose “midwest bulge” is as wide as the Mississippi Delta. However, since most of Jill Stuarts audience is younger and fit, her core fans will fit these looks quite well.

If there is a weak spot in this collection, and I’m sure many would disagree with me about there being one at all, it is in the large polka-dots adorning several pieces. While some designs use them well, here they appear more as though stuck to the fabric by a child. Stuart also uses a fair amount of laser cut elements that may not be especially appropriate for the season, depending on one’s geography. However, these are very subjective issues and I’m sure there are more than a few people who find them quite appealing.

Jill Stuart’s Fall/Winter 2014 collection is almost certain to be a retail hit. One could see buyers making copious notes in their iPads and taking a plethora of pictures for reference. Expect shelves to be full with the label this fall.

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