After writing about the new Lagerfeld collection which debuted at Macy’s last week, I had to get to the nearest store to check it out in person. And to, of course, buy the leather shorts as I intended to the moment I saw them online.
I don’t have good news. Please keep in mind I’m not a fashion critic. My opinion here is based on my tastes and expectations, as well as on my extensive experience as a consumer.
As I looked through the racks, the quality of the clothing grabbed my attention, and not in a good way. I realize this line is a lower cost version of Lagerfeld’s designs and it’s probably difficult to translate his designs on a budget. But that was the whole point of the exercise, right? Isn’t it the point of any collaboration between a high-end designer and a lower-end retailer to bring a level of clothing design to an audience who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford it? I suppose I expected more.
I didn’t have time to try on everything so I focused on a couple of the dresses I mentioned specifically in my post last week. I first tried on the gray tweed dress with the halter-like bodice and black, beaded ribbon details and beaded, stand-up collar. I didn’t notice the beading in the online photos, but I appreciated that detail. Now, for the fit. Sheath dresses are difficult for me because I’m hippy. Typically, if it fits my hips, it won’t fit my upper body, so I always try them on assuming they’ll need alteration. However, the top was considerably larger than the bottom, which just seemed a bit shoddy to me. The construction of the dress is such that it would have required deconstruction to make the top fit. That kind of work would’ve easily added another 30% or so to the cost. Finally, I don’t have a long neck, but neither is my neck non-existent. The collar is super high and would have also required extensive alteration. The $129 dress could have ended up costing $200 or more.
The second dress I tried was the black, fit-and-flare dress with the white collar. From the online photo, I assumed the dress was a cotton blend. Maybe a poly blend. It’s actually a very lightweight fabric, which is ok, but the collar is shiny, satiny and stiff. I mentioned to the salesclerk that I thought it was an odd combination – the floaty-ness of the dress and the weight of the collar – and she agreed. The collar is detachable, but without the collar the dress is not especially special.
I also tried on the black, sleeveless tank seen on the model wearing the leather shorts. It’s a halter-like top like the gray sheath and was larger at each size than I would’ve thought and for anyone who would have to wear a strapless bra with it, the bra would show. Again, unless it was tailored.
Overall, I was disappointed. Perhaps my expectations of a lower cost designer line were too high. But there was one bright spot: the leather shorts are lined and surprisingly comfortable. I bought them and wore them out Sunday evening and received many compliments. Pics were taken but none of them were very good (in one, I looked as if I’d been goosed; I hadn’t been). I’ll wear them again soon and hopefully get better snaps to share.