Wednesday, November 10, 2010

keeping warm and cheery with j. jill's november collection

by frédérik sisa

I know I should be out there looking for new designers and introducing them to you – and I will. Promise. I’ll also continue with Troentorp Clogs and a fun kindred brand soon. For this week’s post, however, I just can’t resist revisiting J. Jill: the November Collection is another manifestation of their excellent design sensibilities, and the combination of simple elegance with splashes of colour makes for a lovely autumn/winter collection worth checking out.

For whatever reason, J. Jill always makes me think of New England. I have visions of autumn in a region of mutable trees, Cape Cod architecture, fishing villages, fog, lighthouses, old dwellings, the sea, beaten paths, historic towns. What I’m getting at, in my own strange way, is this: a timeless romantic quality embodied in supple lines and forms, lush materials, and without a trace of pretension or ego. The November Collection takes this quality and evolves it in a direction of dressier fare for those happy get-togethers with friends and mulled cider, and layered looks for the cooling season. And all as part of J. Jill’s “Her Story” concept, which is centered on offering effortless style to women – real “design within reach,” if you will.

To get a bit of insight into J. Jill’s latest, I turned to VP of Design and Product Development Michael Leva, who previously spoke with me about J. Jill’s design philosophy. His words are italicized below, and remember that you can embiggen all images by clicking on them.

For November we wanted to bring her all the styles she’s looking for to get her through the holiday season looking great. It’s hip and current, and true to the J.Jill brand and style. From holiday dressing to cozy sweaters, to luxury accessories and everyday pieces to live in, we have really captured that. She can just put it on and go, and always look completely put together. We also used more colors this season such as pinks, reds and purple. Adding one note of color looks fresh in a graphic way, but one that is not too sharp.

Some elements of the collection represent a departure from the usual offerings.

We are truly excited about our holiday dressing assortment, as it is the first real dressy collection we have done. With an elegant simplicity, we dressed up our knits and simple styles adding silk, velvet and shimmer. We’ve expanded the J.Jill heritage velvet adding more pieces for versatility, and brought in some great silk tunics and tanks, along with sparkly sweaters and dressy toppers to complete the looks. It’s dressy with a laid back ease. She can take these pieces and easily create her own looks for every occasion.
(starlight cardigan, silk charmeuse tank, authentic skinny jeans; the collar on the cardigan is very striking)

(velvet boyfriend jacket, silk charmeus tunic, authentic skinny jeans, Long Faceted Stone Necklace, faceted stone bracelet: skinny jeans are back,and I love how the formal contrast between straight jeans and fluid jacket)

In the “keep your bippy warm” department…
Our luxurious sweater collection is another big story for November. We have added amazing luxury fibers such as supersoft Italian wool, cashmere, and alpaca blends to this collection that includes sweaters, cardigans, turtlenecks, dresses and accessories. We also added a luxe tweed collection, which is versatile while adding elevated style. Our unique blend of extra fine wool and cashmere brings softness and quality to our collections, giving her luxurious sweaters at a great value.
(alpaca-blend cardigan, chunky knit hat)(luxe sweater dress, luxe scarf and mittens, tall buckle boots)

(simple tweed topper, luxe tweed scarf, Ruched turtleneck, ponte knit pencil skirt)

And finally for the perfect coat that she can toss on anytime, we approached our outwear collection as a simple fashion answer that adds that extra degree of warmth with style; and one that works with all our looks.

(fleece topper, authentic fit skinny jeans, chunky knit scarf)

(double-faced wool coat, luxe twee scarf, live in turtleneck sweater, vintage skinny cords, burnished leather gloves)

So there you have it. Many thanks to Michael Leva and Debra Fernandes for the introduction to a beautiful collection.

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