Move over, Granny, there’s a new Talbots customer in town. Julianne Moore is the face of the company’s Spring campaign (sorry, no controversial nudity or lion cubs in these ads), and approaching 50 with indie film cred fully intact, she’s the kind of modern woman the brand with the big red doors is trying to tap into by upping its hip quotient. Yes, we said “hip.” Chief creative officer Michael Smaldone, previously at Anne Klein and Elie Tahari, is the man behind the design facelift Talbots has been undergoing the last few seasons. He’s broadening the label’s appeal to suit a younger set, with fashion-forward pieces like the suede paper bag-waisted shorts and cropped burlap blazer Moore modeled during her Mert & Marcus-snapped shoot. According to the designer, the actress wore that outfit home.
Smaldone’s inspiration for his Spring collection was the 1950’s and the spiritual setting was Paris, so the silhouette is hourglass and the palette is macaroon bright. An abstract floral-print dress hits on the season’s sheer trend, but the Talbots’ take comes with a convenient slip to be worn underneath. The accessories are the unexpected high note of the makeover. Crocodile-stamped lightweight wedges and a small snake box bag with oversize ball clasps would fit right into any twentysomething’s wardrobe (they’ll like the under-$200 prices). But not to worry, Talbots has no intention of alienating its core audience. The classic blazer, cardigan, and white shirt are all still here, but with updated, “Grandma, can I borrow this?” fits.
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