I firmly believe that every true juniors line needs a bit of Sturm und drahm. After all, someone needs to be feeding the angst and where better to get that fix than from a store at the mall? Once again, Katie Hilier and Luella Bartley show they are very much in touch with their audience and serve up the necessary drama with a line of clothes that speak volumes to their intended audience, even if it makes the rest of us chuckle a bit.
No, really. I’m sitting here laughing. Why? Because for all the songs and themes revolving around rebellion in this collection, nothing quite “fights the power” like clothes that only the one percent can afford. Don’t think for one minute that the majority of purchases made for this line aren’t done on Mummy’s and Daddy’s credit card, or paid from a trust fund. So, this whole rebellious thing taps an emotion that is common among all teens but hardly realized by the majority of the brand’s core.
Initially, there was a lot of focus on the berets and studded boots, elements that are somewhat iconic of rebellion. There’s much more to this collection, though. There are pleats. There are petticoats. There is tulle. There is brocade. There are tapestry coats in abundance. Upon closer inspection, the “rebellion” looks more like someone raided their grandparents (not their parents) closet and pieced together elements from a real revolution this generation doesn’t begin to understand.
What may be genuinely surprising is just how feminine are these looks, and even a bit conservative as a silhouette. Skirts may be hitting mid-thigh, but there are tulle petticoats under them the likes of which we’ve not seen from a contemporary brand in several years. Belted looks help define shape as do cropped jackets and a slight bit of shoulder padding here and there. Compared to looks from the two previous seasons, this collection is almost demure!
Patched on slogans do not a revolution make and in the end, for all the noise made, this is a very safe, very warm, and very comfortable collection. Parents will likely gripe much less about forking over cash for this collection than they are for the spring line. Boots and berets be damned, me thinks this revolution is nothing more than a facade.