I have always been interested in what makes a fashion designer shout out ‘this is it!’ just before starting drawing theirs collections. According to Michael Anderson, senior vice president of design at Banana Republic, it was Provence and a bunch of lovely vintage pictures what hanging on his team’s moodboard, and he has just proven it. Infused with strong retro vibes, the latest Banana Republic fall/winter 2016-17 ready-to-wear collection overwhelmed New York Fashion Week with good old times’ reminiscences, the roots going overseas and meant to be found in the French territories from the Twenties to the Seventies.
Anderson took Banana Republic’s entourage to Provence, Paris and Lyon to explore the environments (both geographically and sociologically), gather all the vintage photos they could find and study the different textiles and materials from those decades: what he had in mind was to literally feel and breathe a French true essence. “It really helped inform us,” he then declared, and we could now rightly state it really did.
All of the Banana Republic designs for fall methodically revisit some of the best retro-style looks that have been charming us since the Roaring Twenties, adding some appealing bursts of bright colors to this overall dark-toned fashion week. The collection features accents of rusty orange, vermillion red and lime yellow, slightly toning them down with camel, dark green and gray items (that said, even those who prefer wearing darker hues will be able to spice their daily outfits up with something colorful). Other interesting choices include pink-red accents, used to create contrasts with the rust-colored sandals, and almost imperceptible bold blues, which accentuate all the colors used that range from orange to red. Besides stripes, swallows and a few floral printed dresses, the lineup mainly features solid-colored pieces to the pleasure of those, who are looking for timeless classics.
Thanks to the drop-waist frocks, oversized sweaters and roomy pants, we could overall regard this collection as being extremely relaxed in lines, even when showcasing some of the Sixties’ most signature pieces. Below-the-knee skirts and bateau collars are one of the collection’s key elements, but find here less sharpness in their lines just in favor of a more well-tailored easiness.
Ankle-length pencil pants got combined with billowy capes and tartan coats, giving us some interesting inspirational looks, which remind us that balancing the figure is all that matters when in doubt about what to wear. Banana Republic’s accessory line seems to be here helping us balance the silhouettes too, as it features some of the most interesting pieces delivered so far.
Wearable mannish suits, pleated pants and bomber jackets got interestingly combined either with feminine sandals or athleisure-inspired sneakers, unveiling some cool outerwear ensembles that look like what we will be wearing next fall. Then, as in the Fifties and the Sixties decades, Banana Republic took the chance to give fur a way out, treating us to some must-have maxi furry waistcoats and furry cropped cardigans.
As for the Seventies, those eclectic ten years have been revisited mainly thanks to the floaty floor-length dresses and bell-bottom trousers matched with suits jackets, which give us a chance to dress up in Donatella Versace’s uniform. Last but not least, the entire collection can already be purchased, as the brand is embracing the #SeeBuyWear movement in the industry.
Photos courtesy of Vogue