ELIZABETH & JAMES AUTUMN/WINTER 2015-16 READY-TO-WEAR NEW YORK
New York fashion week is a whirlwind for Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen, who work double-time to produce collections for their super-luxe label, The Row, as well as their more accessible contemporary line, Elizabeth and James. While the brands cater to markedly different customers, you could sense the easy, elevated minimalism of The Row subtly influencing today’s Elizabeth and James Fall ’15 presentation. “It was really just about how we’re feeling, and it’s a lot sexier than in the past,” Mary-Kate explained.
Of course, the Olsen brand of sexy doesn’t mean flashes of skin. Where other E&J collections have been a bit tomboyish, Fall included body-skimming dresses, sharp tailoring, and touchable textures that added up to an understated sensuality. The Olsens also recognized a need for strong outerwear, offering a fluffy blush Mongolian lamb coat with oversize lapels as well as a shorter-pile hoodie in the same material. Mary-Kate was dressed in a shaggy black fur jacket herself; you could sense every girl in the room taking note of Ashley’s fuzzy leopard scarf, too.
Accessories are growing rapidly for the brand, and there were several new styles to covet here, like the layered fringed tote and croc-effect shoulder bags. There was also a crescent-shaped suede hobo that will make a great everyday purse. Overall, Elizabeth and James is moving in a more minimal, polished direction right in line with the Olsens’ own sensibilities—and considering their success as designers and status as veritable fashion icons, it’s a smart move to make.