Last Thursday's New York Times Style section noted the demise of the Sigrid Olsen label, now owned by the Liz Claiborne conglomerate. Olsen's aesthetic never did much for me; her seashell prints and beachy colours were just not urban enough.
But she was beloved by many women, and I recently admired a coral-and-white print cotton blazer on a gray-haired executive, then realized it was Sigrid Olsen. Olsen had an extensive Woman's line, which I applaud. She didn't use lesser fabrics and finishings just because she was making larger sizes, unlike Ralph Lauren, for example.
Apparently Olsen herself, who paints and owns a gallery in Edgartown MA, was whipsawed by the decision, even with the death knell sounded by the closing of Dana Buchman and life support for Eileen Tracy.
One buyer said, "This leaves a void in the 40-60 year womens' old market." Who is making clothes for the above-60s? Are they a separate market? Or did the buyer just not want to utter the word seventy? Or eighty?
It seems no designer or retailer will identify their market as past 60. Yet my friends' mothers, in these upper-digit decades, are as interested in clothes as they ever were, buying Anne Klein (apparently also floundering), Eileen Fisher, Lafayette New York or other bridge lines.
During our last conversation, my nearly 99-year old mother, anticipating my visit in a few days, said, "We have to go shopping."
I'd have lept at this Teri Jon for Kay Unger rich brocade coatdress ($470 at Neiman Marcus' web site), elegant for any age.
Claiborne has just hired Isaac Mizrahi to breathe life into that line; his work will show up in stores in February '09.
As for me, I love me some Rick Owens, and once I no longer need anything businessy in my closet, I'm headed there. I'd like to see Ricky make bigger sizes, even if only in his second Lilies line.
Wouldn't it be terrific to wear this at 75?
Fight, fight against ever wearing anything remotely like the dispiriting number below. If I were rich I'd buy every one of these and recycle them as paper... or something.