Chic & Affordable
A ready-to-wear Chanel dress designed by Karl Lagerfeld can easily run a couple of thousand dollars. A dress from Lagerfeld’s new collection for Macy’s runs around $100. And much like Chanel’s spring/summer 2011 ready-to-wear runway, Lagerfeld’s designs for Macy’s lean heavily on black and white, although there are pops of pink throughout.
Same designer, two different markets and a mixed bag of choices.
For anyone who scoffs at the high price of high fashion, there’s value in each stitch and seam. Design, fabric choice and coy details set a garment apart and make it memorable. Admittedly, it is expensive and something few people can afford to indulge in frequently. The Lagerfeld for Macy’s collection, which ranges from $50-$170, manages to mimic that feeling to the masses in some of its wares.
The reality is, Macy’s shoppers aren’t in the market for a $3,000 suit and honestly, it’s exciting for those of us who follow and appreciate Lagerfeld to have an opportunity to wear something he sketched. The selection is deep and made to be worn any number of ways, maximizing what one does purchase.
The metallic tweed shorts are standouts for their flattering length and material. I can see them with burgundy tights and booties out and about once the summer simmers into fall. Likewise, the matching gray tweed vest —which I am not advocating wearing together — is another go-to item that can be worn any number of ways.
Fall’s trend list includes color blocking and a bubble gum pink and black dress is an excellent entry point at $89. The blouses and dresses can easily be worked into most working woman’s wardrobe, although some veer into cocktail party territory. A black sleeveless A-line dress with Lagerfeld’s trademark white collar is sure to flatter most body types, and the trim sleeveless turtleneck tweed dress is versatile.
It’s the use of the pleather that takes the collection down a less-than-Lagerfeld path. There’s the matte pleather shorts that look huge, no matter what the size and are the exact opposite of everything good about the tweed shorts. The sleeveless hooded faux croc vest would be great without the shiny pleather. Perhaps sequins could have given the same affect? I giggled at another self-inspired (dare we say, self-indulgent?) dress, a black-and-white all-in-one combo that must look better on a person than the rack.
The reality is, Macy’s shoppers aren’t in the market for a $3,000 suit and honestly, it’s exciting for those of us who follow and appreciate designers such as Lagerfeld, to have an opportunity to wear something he sketched. The selection is deep and made to be worn any number of ways, maximizing what one does purchase.
And, there are tradeoffs when it comes to mass producing affordable clothing. I think under other circumstances, the sleeveless stretch poplin dress with the long sleeve jacket would be very fashion forward, if it were executed differently. The collection runs from zero to 12 and runs the gamut from casual to cocktail and includes modern Peter Pan collars and ruching where many women need it most.
So, Mr. Lagerfeld thanks for designing for the masses. Next go ‘round, lose the pleather.
Karl Lagerfeld talks about his collaboration with Macy's: