L’Wren Scott counts First Lady Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Nicole Kidman and Madonna among the fans of her sophisticated, sharply-tailored dresses. And now the designer is rolling her aesthetic out to the masses with the limited-edition Banana Republic L’Wren Scott Collection.
On Tuesday, Scott and Krista Smith, West Coast editor of Vanity Fair magazine, co-hosted a party at the Chateau Marmont to celebrate the collaboration, along with guests who included Scott’s Rolling Stone boyfriend Mick Jagger, singer Ke$ha and actresses Christina Hendricks, Jessica Pare and Rashida Jones.
The holiday-themed collection has been highly anticipated, both by consumers and Scott herself.
“It’s about bringing what I do to a new audience,” says Scott, whose namesake line, which launched in 2006, starts at around $1,000. Scott describes the Banana Republic collection ($16.50 to $198) as “feminine, sexy, rock-and-roll ... and a little bit sparkly, too.”
Scheduled to hit select Banana Republic stores and www.bananarepublic.com on Dec. 5, the accessories and apparel collection includes more than 50 pieces, including the kind of sequined cardigans, sheath dresses, skinny jeans, tailored jackets and clutch handbags that Scott is known for as well as pajamas, tees and a cashmere blanket. Key elements are richly textured fabrics -- lace brocade, shimmery tweed, jacquard, faux fur and velvet -- and three colorful signature prints, including a lip pattern that Scott says was not a tongue-in-cheek reference to the Rolling Stones’ famous logo.
“I did a drawing of lips for the lip print; they’re probably close to my own signature lips, because they are very pointy like mine,” says Scott. “And I was thinking of candy stripes a lot; I love mints and I always think of candy canes at Christmas. The stripes are very vibe-y and fun and up and happy. And it’s the same color palette of lipsticky shades [for both prints]. I [also] designed a print from a photograph I’d taken of the flowers in my peony garden. I have a passion for peonies. They are a beautiful flower -- very rare, very one-season, very fragile. My [spring 2014] collection was inspired by Japan and whenever I think of Japan, I think of peonies.”
For Scott, working with a large brand such as Banana Republic was a change of pace.
“Banana Republic is a very, very big machine,” says Scott. “There is one person dedicated to every single component of every element of every garment -- from the making of [the garment] to the buttons to the zippers to the snaps to the threads. Coming from a small luxury couture studio to that was super-exciting to me!”
Scott is known for her exacting attention to detail, and that shows in this collection.
“I said, ‘I really want to have striped linings inside’ and ‘Can we do little mirrors cut out like lips inside the bags?” she continues. “I also said, ‘Please, please, please can we do pajamas, because it’s Christmastime, so everyone wants to have a fun pajama party!’ There were a lot of demands from me, and the team rose to the challenge and did a great job. When you look at the details of the construction of the clothes, they’re beautiful. The tailoring is very sharp; the silhouettes are very defined. Banana Republic really worked on helping to facilitate everything I expected, hoped and dreamed to be in this collaboration.”
As for styling advice, the 6-foot-3-inch former model and celebrity stylist says: “During the holidays, you should just be comfortable, because being comfortable is how you look good. I say that all the time. I can’t say it enough. If you don’t feel comfortable, you’ll never look confident. You should wear what you feel like wearing. Don’t let anyone dictate to you how to dress for a party. I dress for my mood, not the event. And my mantra for Christmas, instead of less is more, is that more is more and a lot more fun! I think you should sparkle and shine for the holidays, and I like to dress up, even at home, even if it’s styling up a pair of jeans to look super-glamorous and chic.”
The Banana Republic collaboration is just one of several new projects for Scott.
Tuesday also marked the launch of L’App, a free mobile app for iPhone and iPod Touch (at appstore.com ) that she designed to integrate her collection lookbooks and information from her Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts.
“I think, more than ever now, that fashion and technology have become one,” says Scott. “With the click of one button, you can see our journey, what I’m doing and what’s ‘L’appening’ at the moment. If you’re walking down the street, anywhere in the world, an app will pop up and show you where you can buy L’Wren Scott product, from clothes to perfume.”
Scott has also started a collaboration with French beauty brand Caudalie, designing a limited-edition bottle for Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir ($49), a hydrating, plant-based complexion spray that she discovered in a French pharmacy in 1997 and has bought in bulk ever since. Scott refers to it as “a skin-saver, like a spa in a bottle.”
The collectible bottle went on sale on Nov. 1 at www.caudalie.com and other retail outlets.
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