Colgate Couture: Celebrity Fashion Lines

Alexis Manrodt


Fall is the season of changing leaves, warm cozy sweaters, the September issue of Vogue and celebrity-brand partnerships. This sea­son, several celebs are pairing up with beloved brands for limited edition collections.

Perhaps the most anticipated partnership of the fall season is Alexa Chung for Madewell. For the collection, Chung draws inspiration from sixties icons like Jane Birkin, Anita Pal­lenberg, Françoise Hardy and Jean Shrimpton, even naming a white minidress after Birkin and a coat after Shrimpton. Chung also draws from Cameron Crowe’s cult classic Almost Famous with bell-bottom jeans called “It’s All Happen­ing” – very Penny Lane approved. Chung turns to a very unexpected source of inspiration for her tailored wool-and-leather coat: London sanita­tion workers. It’s called the “Bin Man” coat, and at a cool $325, it’s much more expensive than the threads of an average garbage man. Chung also dubbed a design the “Ugly Cardigan” – an angora/nylon mix that is meant to look like a cooler version of the average grandpa’s cardigan sweater. Think Mr. Rogers-gone-hipster.

Heavy patterned coats, metallic and leop­ard print booties, white lace dresses and silk pajama pieces make up the rest of the capsule collection. Tee shirts take illustrations directly from Chung’s own sketchbook for delightfully quirky designs.

Another hotly anticipated collaboration is Karen Elson for Nine West. Supermodel-turned-singer Elson, the estranged wife of Jack White, designs what is dubbed the ‘Vintage America’ collection for the brand. Drawing inspiration from Dustbowl-era America, Elson offers glam­orously eccentric – and at times gothic – pieces that are perfect reflections of Elson’s vintage-heavy personal style. Victorian-style boots, gui­tar charm necklaces and large tapestry satchels are the standouts in the collection. Deep reds, midnight blues and black with a gorgeous glitter overlay are the main colors of the limited edition line. Each piece in the collection is named after a song from her debut album, The Ghost Who Walks. One of the best pieces in the collection is the “Inthedirt” mid-calf boots. These lace-ups mix the rugged utilitarian style of the dirty thir­ties with the gothic glitz of the shimmery black. My personal favorite are the t-strap “Theghost” wedges in the wine shade, which remind me of the shoes Jodi Foster wears in the 1976 Scorcese film Taxi Driver.

Another shoe collaboration is a rather unex­pected one, TOMS + The Row. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen pair up with Blake Mycoskie for a line of upscale TOMS shoes. The Row, the Olsens’ upscale clothing brand, is known for its luxuriously minimalist pieces, which they de­liver to the TOMS brand. Made of cashmere and Italian wool, these slip-on shoes uphold the one-for-one promise that the TOMS brand is built on. The line comes in only two styles for women: the “Alexandria” and the “Hayden.” The only discernible difference between the two styles is the color – the Alexandrias are black and the Haydens are heather grey. Expect to pay a little more than usual for these luxe shoes – one pair costs $140, a hundred dollars more than the average $40 pair of TOMS.

As the fall season continues on, expect to see more celebrity-brand partnerships re­leased. With the recent announcement that Jay-Z will team up with Adidas to design new uniforms for the Brooklyn Nets, there is no limit on which celebrity-brand team will come up next.

Contact Alexis Manrodt at [email protected].