Remember your musical era? You know, that certain period in music when the sound was sweet like honey to you to the point where it almost became a definitive era in your life. Maybe you could choreograph every move to every song during that period in your life as though it were a soundtrack. For some it's 70's disco, for others it's early 90's hip hop and other have a soft spot for 80's pop or 50's doo-wop. Oftentimes people get musically affixed in their era and regard music before it as great while they become highly critical of the music made after it. Well in any case, aside from our ages and many times by some of our behaviors, extracurricular activities and ways we dress, it can be obvious what era we grew up in and took inspiration from.
Jill Stuart loves the melodies, lilts and crescendos of American vintage. That is obvious. What becomes less obvious and makes her a followed designer is how she melds together eras of clothing from Victorian or 60's mod in ways that are more modern acknowledgements than mere period recreations. The overall effect is always attractive. For Fall/Winter 2013 that cute Jill Stuart girl continues to walk in a dark sweetness that brims with a coquettish sensuality.
No better exemplified this season than with her cavalcade of mini dresses. The predominant shapes were high and natural waist, although there were a few sexy drop waists, with short flared and pleated skirt silhouettes that she showed in a variety of fabrications. Ms. Stuart showed lace-effect mini dresses that had perfect striped skin to fabric executions. She also played with discreet sheer panelling this season in toned down yet sexy ways like with brocaded and lace fabrics with underlays that seamlessly disappear to reveal skin or almost invisible sheers. Some dresses were pieced together in laces, brocades and sheers to have a multilayered effect that made a nice rounded collection when paired with her powder red story of dresses with dimensional floral appliqués. Her straight cut collarless torn chiffon short coats were perfect compliments to her dress shapes for the season that evoked a mod feel with dashes of the Jill Stuart pretty.
There was a heavy focus on textures with this collection which she emphasized due to her mostly dark color palette. Trim pants with all over lace motifs and slick leathery surfaces paired with ornate lace-effect blouses, structured overcoats and fuzzy bombers all made for a great texture story. That part of the show kind of represented the dark more modest yet still sensual part of the collection.
Ms. Stuart's cultivated aesthetic has come to infect others to listen to her soundtrack. She takes the familiar and puts her fashionable stint on it to create feminine clothing that is adored and respected in places even as far away as Japan (where she has a big following). Whatever her musical era, a pretty collection that's retail and editorially friendly is always music to one's ears.