Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Not-so-plain Jane

After posting about the Jimmy Choo/H&M collab, I began to consider how very many designers have now collaborated with the topshops, tar-jays and H&Ms of the world. These tie-ups produce results of varying success, depending on the cache of the designer in question, and the quality of translation of said designer's aesthetic into affordable pricing categories. Matthew Williamson, which I've blogged about before, was an easy switch, because the selling point is in the prints. McQueen for Target, however, was rather a failure despite Mr McQueen's immovable hold on the dictation of future fashion, because his leather/bondage/super-draped/almost couture-like looks just don't look the same, rendered in pleather and stretch cotton.

And besides, the collabs are getting a bit snooze-worthy. The designers are getting more and more mainstream (let's hear it for Limi Feu for Zara?... yeah right) and the anticipation buildup less and less. But like any good druggie with a need to reach new highs, the mass-market brands are coming up with new ways to get the fix. And the new breed of celebrity collaboration? The blogger capsule, including the glads pictured above from JAldridge for Urban Outfitters.

If you're a regular fashiontoast reader, you probably already know that Rumi Neely was invited to do a capsule collection for RVCA, who have also collaborated super sexily and successfully with Erin Wasson, she of perma-It girl status. And now we have photos of the trio of quirky shoes designed for Urban Outfitters by the 17-year-old Sea of Shoes author, Jane Aldridge, due out in July. And guess what? While they're "inspired" by her own shoe collection, they're distinctive in their own right as well. And whether they're lace-up flats that could be a coy cousin to her Ann Demeulemeester sandals, or open-toed lace-up boots in mahogany that are an amped up version of her prada mid-calf ones, they're pretty darn cool. And will probably cost a lot less than the shoes she normally wears on the blog, like those sold-out-everywhere YSL cage shoes with the bow (so much better than the black cage booties) or the mesh Stellas we SHOErotica'd a couple weeks back. How a 17-year-old can own and afford these shoes when I, a grown working woman, must instead consider the fast-fashion versions of a 17-year-old's shoe closet, is beyond me... but hey, I ain't hating. As long as she keeps dishing out the shoe porn, I'm still a fan. Hey, Urban, where's my shoe deal?

Images: Sea of Shoes

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