Thursday, October 18, 2012

Jai Collection: Frocks w/Sometimes Numerous Possibilities

The Genevieve Dress, in solid black  or white on black, is embellished with metallic threads. Photos from Jai Collection Web site.

HEAD’S UP: In case you haven’t heard, it’s fall. Autumn! What a wonderful time of year, no? For weeks now, those in the rag trade have been rolling out their new stock for shoppers who may be in the market for a few more threads and layers or to get shoppers in said mood. To help trade and to help VEVLYN’S PEN readers and followers (potential shoppers), Yours Truly will be bringing to your attention over the next few weeks or so various fall collections. What shall I call these snapshots, for I won’t bore you with a treatise? Yes! I've got it: “Glimpses of Fall.” I reckon just about every Thursday through Thanksgiving or November (whichever comes first; I haven’t checked the calendar:o), I’ll provide a peek at a collection/line/brand that I deem captivating and worthy of your notice. Happy shopping! (potentially).

Many women want their clothing to make the bacon, fry it up in the pan, serve it on the plate, and do the dishes afterward. In simpler words, they demand high-quality, stylish garments that can be worn in more ways than one.

With varying degrees of success, the market has been meeting those demands with reversible and convertible clothing. Another success story is that of designer Jia Li who has made reversible/convertible her stock in trade since her debut Jai Collection in Fall 2010.

The Greta Dress in black on white or white on black with with gray strip bordered by black or white.

For Fall 2012, she introduces a line that pays homage to actresses of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Think of Joan Crawford in “Mildred Pierce” once she is rolling in dough and her ungrateful daughter is spinning increasingly out of control. Conjure up the dream that is Bette Davis in “Now, Voyager” after her weight loss and after she removes herself from under her mother’s thumb.

The boatneck Hedy Cardigan has an asymmetrical closure and bands at the edge and armholes.

Eva Marie Saint is an angelic girl got up like a demon to fool the bad guys and good guys, including Cary Grant in “North by Northwest.” Is not Doris Day a vision in “Pillow Talk,” especially when her career girl is bantering with Rock Hudson’s playboy?

As the irrepressible “Auntie Mame,” Rosalind Russell is full on life’s banquet in all of the right duds. Hollywood provides endless fodder for anyone channeling its golden era actresses: Also Katharine Hepburn, Norma Shearer, Gene Tierney, Lauren Bacall and an endless list of lesser knowns that appeared in Hollywood B-films, especially as moll types. Were not these ladies turned out, dressed to the nines?! A good many were literally dressed to kill, but not at all overdone and undercooked.

The red and black Marcella Poncho is four different looks in one piece.

This is the fount from which the Yunnan, China province native and FIT grad (Fashion Institute of Technology) drew her inspiration. According to her p.r., JL “strived to create a collection that would imbue the average woman’s wardrobe with that timeless elegance.”

JL, who became enamored of clothing design after she happened upon a fashion magazine in a book store, hits the mark with looks in traditional fall colors: jewel tones, blacks, grays. Her choice of fabrics tend toward wool, tencel, leather, mohair and assorted blends. The looks will flatter most figures and will be in fashion for a long time to come.

The double-face wool Margaret Coat in khaki/gray with has leather binding.

It is the jackets, tops and shawls that lend themselves to the most versatility, and JL lets her imagination be her guide. Most can be worn two ways by simply turning the garments inside out. This is sufficient, but others have multiple possibilities. For instance, the Hayden Coat, which comes in black and brown faux shearling, can be worn six ways:

The Hayden Coat can be worn six ways.

1. long, black coat (with brown lapels)
2. long, brown coat (with black lapels )
3. zip off bottom to create black motorcycle jacket (with brown lapels)
4. zip off bottom to create brown motorcycle jacket (with black lapels)
5. reverse bottom to create long coat with black top & brown bottom (with brown lapels)
6. reverse bottom to create long coat with brown top & black bottom (with black lapels).

What a multitasker!

Visit http://www.jiacollection.com/ to learn more about the Fall 2012 Jia collection.

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