By Maria V. Luna
I almost gave this web post the title “A Tale of Two Cities,” but that’s been done before, no? They say that Paris is the epicenter of fashion but after a recent trip abroad I beg to differ. Let me preface this by saying that I only spent one week in Paris, and perhaps my hopes were a little too high, but I imagined I’d find all the women, rich and poor alike, donning chic frocks and tailored jackets. The men, I fantasized, would all be tucked neatly into the skinniest of jeans, polished with bow ties and leather man-bags. Yet, I saw little to none of that. Again, I may have been looking for frock-love in all the wrong places. I’m in no way hating on the French.
Then I took an 8-hour bus ride to London. It was in that old and glorious city that I learned about style. And you know why? Because everyone on every corner and at every stop of the Overground and Underground (metro) had style! Gold-tipped ankle boots, perfectly fit-and-flare raincoats, quality leather man-bags and silk scarves elegantly tied at the neck (a style that never gives out) stole my breath and every turn.
Back in NYC for the first time in a few weeks and my first invitation came from Target Studios for the 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target preview. While Lim may be a NY-based designer—young and handsome—one cannot help but note loads of London fashion sensibility within the line. The line debuts at most Target stores September 15 and here’s what you can expect:
“3.1 Phillip Lim for Target embodies Lim’s philosophy that clothing is meant to refine, not define. Rooted in a classic fall palette of neutral tones and prints, the collection features more than 100 items and ranges in price from $19.99 to $299.99 for apparel and $19.99 to $59.99 for accessories. Standout pieces include bags, dresses and a trench coat for women, and shoes and a leather moto jacket for men. Travel accessories, such as a duffle and multipurpose pouches for women and men, round out the collection.”
Why does any of this matter, right? Sometimes we are drawn to fashion and sometimes we shun it as mere frivolity. But this line, I feel, is important in that it carries pieces we can wear to work, to lounge, to party. It’s not just for skinny size 4s or black-clad über fashionistas. It’s a line that is affordable and fits our real lives. Our mommy/daddy, workaholic, hit the gym in style, carry a dope tote on the plane for can you believe I got this at Target! prices.
The tale of two cities? London and NYC are emerging fashion sisters. We share gritty streets, fabulous theater districts, mega-museums, rainbows of ethnicities and interests. (Especially enormous Spanish-speaking populations in both cities…but that’s another story.) I say it’s time we look to our older and more fashionable sister for inspiration. That’s why I will be standing in line on September 15 snatching up that 3.1 Phillip Lim raincoat and if he is lucky, a man-bag for my boo.