Ok, so my love for the Olsen twins has revived. And Elizabeth and James has officially entered a new chapter y’all. My love for them had slowly disintegrated over time, and trust me I was an avid fan even before Olsens Anonymous days (and this site is legit). Until recently, earlier this year when I caught an update of the sisters on WWD that sparked my interest once again, and this time it was with their new and refined Elizabeth and James Pre Fall 2016 collection.
Just to give you more context, in August, founders Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen announced they had reacquired the brand from licensee of eight years Jaya Apparel Group, with plans to bring design in-house to their New York City headquarters, where their luxury brand The Row is also based. And while the sisters told WWD in February that they were always heavily involved, their first two collections since the acquisition (pre-fall and fall) clearly mark a shift in the design direction. It’s cooler, more masculine and of higher quality.
Whereas the Elizabeth and James of the past relied on form-fitting dresses and feminine separates — or in other words, simply put, not my cup of tea — the newest collections designed by the Olsens are full of wardrobe builders in their signature effortless, luxe aesthetic. There are wide-leg crepe trousers, pleated satin skirts and many sleek maxi-skirts. Fans of The Row will be excited to find a hefty range of knitwear, from ribbed, form-fitting dresses to oversized turtlenecks. In that WWD interview, Mary-Kate Olsen said that they wanted to expand sweaters while still maintaining the strong dress, shirting and blazer categories that have been core parts of the business since the beginning. Denim has also expanded: for fall, they’ve designed a high-waisted “tomboy” style, cropped flares as well as a new denim and leather biker-style jackets. Overall, the fits are boxier and the pieces lend themselves to layering both within the collection and with the elegant, comfortable pieces the Elizabeth and James shopper probably already has in her closet.
What do you think of the pre-fall 2016 Elizabeth and James collection above?
Personally, I adore this type of look. I haven’t done this type of lookbook moodboard in forever, but I am totally feeling the androgynous / Saint Laurent-esque vibe.