Thursday, September 25, 2014


I haven't paid much attention to Target's designer collaborations for many a moon because (with a few exceptions) the quality isn't there. In the age of instant fashion at all price points, this would be the great divide. Target's designer collaborations are priced as high or higher than Zara or H&M and— the quality isn't there. It was fun to sport "Tar-jhay" (wink wink) early on, but over time it's become more like "Oh, she got that at Target." Not the same.

So I didn't rush to my local branch of Target's 1,925 stores to see the unveiling of Joseph Altuzarra's collaboration a few weeks ago. But I had time to kill in an urban mall this past weekend and ran into a goodly amount of it.

Joseph Altuzarra at 31 is a bit of a wunderkind, the latest in a list of young men with exotic last names that I am constantly confusing. Paris born but a graduate of Swarthmore, he is the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) 2014 Womenswear Designer of the Year. His Target connection is thus quite their coup.

As expected it was as expected. Designs I've surely seen before: a black lace pencil skirt, a Diane von Furstenburg-like wrap dress in snake print, a claret velevet jacket and pants (very YSL "le smoking"), but then this dress:

An elegant floor-length wrap jersey with flower photo print down the side for $69.99. It was an a-ha moment because I had just seen that dress at a wedding two nights earlier. The young woman wearing it looked so lovely I had to take her picture (though I am no Bill Cunningham). The venue was an abandoned factory turned art space. I hadn't a clue she was wearing Altuzarra or Target; she just looked perfect.

So it's not the dress or the price tag so much as it's you looking confident and appropriate. Chasing designer labels is not the answer. It's knowing who you are and what looks good on you as well as changing with the times as Style keeps on churning.

Woman's work is never done.

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