Wednesday, February 25, 2009

In the pink: Mizrahi pinches Claiborne's cheeks

Isaac Mizrahi's clothes for Liz Claiborne hit department stores beginning in March, and judging from the ad in last Sunday's New York Times T magazine, he's got some good stuff.

The cle
ver ad, shot by 68-year old veteran Arthur Elgort, was one of the very few pages from which I might actually choose something I could afford.

Mizrahi ups the reality ante by using only one person in the shoot who's a model. The rest are friends of people involved in the campaign, including several blog editors in pink (SpoutB
log's Karen Longworth is seated in the centre in a dress, DailyCandy's Danielle Kyrillos is in the flowered skirt, at right). And of course there's Isaac in his spring bandanna.

The woman in the menswear suit with the huge boutonierre is a 50-year old construction manager who was working in a Liz Claiborne showroom. Mizrahi said, "I just couldn't get her out of my brain; I kept looking at her, and I was like, 'She's one of our customers too.' "


Mizrahi's strategy is to inject "fun and whimsy" into the brand, appar
ently in agreement with what Marshal Cohen, a chief industry analyst, who said, "Subdued won’t cut it this spring. Consumers aren’t looking to add more of the same to their wardrobe. They are going to have some pent-up demand, but not enough to go around for every retailer. So those that jump on the dramatic change wagon are going to see some results.”

I know I'll be checking them out; by April, most of the collection will be available online at Liz Claiborne. The few items offered currently are largely sold out.

Apparently Mizrahi's mantra for his design team is 'forever 35'. Not a bad call, as 35 means womanly, not girly, and definitely still in the game.

13 comments:

Nancy (nanflan) said...

"Forever 35"--love the concept, and it gives me a chuckle. I like the navy shirtdress, although I'd definitely style it differently!

CompassRose said...

I must say, with 35 just retreating over my rear horizon, and as someone who works in an office full of 30-somethings, that these looks are not what I'd think of as "forever 35." Forever 35-dental hygienist, perhaps. Not a fan at all.

Duchesse said...

CompassRose: I'm guessing these look too conventional or conservative for you...who are your favourite designers, or what kind of clothes do you enjoy?

Karen said...

I am devastated to find that the Isaac for Liz line isn't going to be sold at any major stores near me! In California, they've put the collection in places where people would NEVER dress like this--come on, Bakersfield? Fresno?

I love the florals he's done, but I won't buy til I can try.

CompassRose said...

They do seem very conventional, and honestly the very tame cuts paired with the candy colours make me think more of cheering up the nursing home. I certainly would never wear anything I've seen of it so far - but I can't imagine any of the slightly younger, or even the slightly older, women in my (professional, mid-management/marketing/government) office wearing them either.

My own inclinations DO lean rather towards the aging-Goth category, I must admit; I like reconstructed clothes; Alexander Wang (if I could afford him and was starved enough to wear it); Anne Demeulemeester ditto; Fluevogs.

Still, there's something terribly, I don't know, prim, about this Mizrahi collection which makes it hard to picture as interesting even on other people with possibly more age-appropriate tastes. But maybe some more imaginative fashion bloggers will buy it and change my mind!

CompassRose said...

Out of designers in a similar price range and (I think) target demographic to Claiborne, I've found DKNY and even occasional Bianca Nygard clothes are more in my line.

Duchesse said...

CompassRose: Thanks! I checked out DKNY's New York line a day ago. Though a confirmed black-wearer am, I am still longing for some colour for spring, and did not see any there- but some may arrive.

Something is happening to my psyche that I want a deep pink- an odd thing but there.

Duchesse said...

Karen: That's surprising, I thought he was pretty much their man now and set on world domination. Some of the pieces are too femmy for me (pink gingham) but some look promising.

Imogen Lamport said...

Just hope they're flattering on! It's a very 1950s silhouette - not flattering for many!

Frugal Scholar said...

I love Isaac--he's a great raconteur and wit. But all these clothes have waists (except for the one suit). Even before I hit 35, I couldn't wear things with waists. Great ad, though.

Karen said...

Duchesse, but imagine taking the gingham and putting it in grey or black and white--There are so many ways to get inspired by Isaac's special verve. Nothing, not even a line like this, should be taken or bought to wear literally!!!

Compass Rose--If you're deconstructionist or reconstructionist, Isaac will never be your man. Nor will Liz Claiborne be your woman. Stick to those labels you like, but look for your color cravings in accessories.

Deja Pseu said...

"Forever 35" I could live with, though I haven't seen enough of this collection to judge whether anything would fit my style or not. I don't think any retailers here carry the Liz Claiborne line anymore. Liz C was one of the first brands to offer a Petite line, so I still carry some fondness, but need to see more.

Duchesse said...

Frugal: Me too! Hoping blouses can be worn untucked and shirtdresses unbelted! I know the skirts wil be too short, I'm 5'10".

Karen: Gingham is just not me, but there are a few prints that might work. Hoping for some good lightweight sweaters to wear with funkier skirts.