UPDATED: See bottom of post.
Hi all! I have finally done a spot of shopping, for the first time in what feels like forever. To break the drought, I picked up a couple of pieces from the new Stella McCartney for Target collaboration. I enjoyed the last collection she did for them, so I was really looking forwards to this one, as I'd heard it was more everyday-wearable than the last one. Is it just my imagination, or are designer collaborations becoming more and more indistinguishable from the main line? I'm not complaining. I'm dribbling over the Lanvin for H&M one coming up. But this is about Stella.
First impressions - Ms McCartney does not design for anyone with more than a hint of a chest. It bothers me that designers tend to be lazy this way - more and more women these days have curves, and I don't mean that as a euphemism for fat, just that the hourglass figure is definitely still a thing - and it's harder work to make clothes that look good on bigger boobs. So most designers don't. (I learned that from Tim Gunn, so it must be true.) Some of the designs looked good on me, but others just didn't fit right - what fit well on my shoulders was way too tight in the bust, and the next size up hung off my shoulders like I was a ten-year old stealing from my mum's wardrobe.
The other thing that is definitely worth noting, should you be thinking about picking some of this collection up on eBay, is that the sizes run smaller than regular Target sizing, and it doesn't seem to be totally consistent between tops and bottoms. I'm usually a 12 (Australian) by Target's estimations, and a 12 in the tulip skirt fit me a-ok. The lace tshirt, however, was ludicrously small in 12. I got it (we'll get to that in a minute) in a 14 but frankly a 16 might have been better. The top-bottom discrepancy seemed to be true for all the pieces I tried on - dresses fitted me particularly badly, as what was right up top was swimming around my waist and hips. And the trench coat - oh, the trench coat. OK, let's start with the review.
What I bought
In the end I got the lace tee in black, and the frame clutch, also in black. Photo time!
(I put a pillowcase inside the shirt so you can see the lace better - it's totally sheer in person.)
They pack your clothes up in this special edition bag. It looks sort of cheap, but much nicer than a regular Target plastic bag. I appreciate the effort, if not the execution.
My salesgirl threw in the hanger for the top, too, but the quality is pretty wretched so it won't be going into my wardrobe.
So the tee. The lace tee is apparently the most popular item of this collection, so I was feeling pretty chuffed to snag one. The lace itself feels pretty good quality, and the neck detail makes it feel pretty classy. It has some small darts to add bust definition, but frankly, it's not much help above a B cup. I plan to have it tailored a little, but overall it is a versatile piece and I'm happy to welcome it to the exclusive club that is my wardrobe.
The clutch was a bit of an impulse buy but I'm happier with it every time I look at it. I like the art deco-like simplicity of the frame. The fabric it's made from is satiny, so I'll have to be careful not to snag it, but again, this is a very versatile piece.
Versatility seems to have been the theme of the collection. Here's my impressions of some of the other pieces, which can all be seen at the capsule website here.
What I loved
The lace pieces in this collection are stunning. I really wanted to snap up the sleeveless lace top in French blue, the short sleeved lace dress in either black or blue, and the aforementioned tulip skirt, but in the end decided against them. The sleeveless top was a bit too cleaveage-tacular to be an everyday top, I already have plenty of dark blue and black dresses, and I really wanted the tulip skirt in ivory, which sadly was sold out at the Perth city store. I might trek to a couple other stores to see if they have it. I also liked the wide-leg trousers. I might just pick them up next time - I have a feeling these will be floating around for a while, like some of the pieces from the Zac Posen collab a few years ago.
What I wanted to love but was sold out so I didn't get to try on
The white suit, the ribbon-tie dress, the gathered silk dress, and the shirt with tie. I'll look for these at other stores, too.
What I wanted to love but couldn't no matter how many times I spun around in the changeroom
The tulip trench coat. Oh my. This is so beautiful. The front-on silouhette is stunning. I was oohing and ahhing when I had it on in the changeroom, but then I caught sight of my back - hunched like Quasimodo. There's a very generous pleated vent in the back of the coat, which, sadly, should you have used the front fabric to accommodate your ample chest, then opens out into a huge puff of fabric, destroying your nice lines. This is the piece that has me so steamed about clothes for big chests, because man, my credit card was already at the ready for this one. I'm tossing up whether I should buy it in a larger size and have it taken in everywhere else. Oh, and fyi, there are DOZENS of these left at the Perth city store, perhaps due to the cut, but more likely due to our scorching weather here lately, so anybody who tells you they're sold out nationwide is fibbing.
What else didn't tickle my goat
The big chunky bracelets. I have very small, slim hands and wrists. I could not get my hands into these bangles. Am I doing it wrong? Have I forgotten how bangles work? I also wasn't big on the 70s style jeans. I don't think front patch pockets suit many women, as they can make you look a big saddlebags-y. Be warned. And the other handbags looked a bit cheap, too. My fashion rule is Never Let It Look Cheap, Even When It Is, so I was not very impressed with them.
Overall, the collaboration is very nice. It seems to be not as in demand as the previous Stella for Target, but that works in my favour (and yours!) so I'm not complaining. Head on into a Target to see it for yourself (but be sure to check their website, as not all stores carry it.)
PS Am I the only one who thinks the model on the website looks completely unhappy with her job? She doesn't really sell the clothes to me, that's for sure.
I went to Innaloo Target this evening to see what I could see of the things that were sold out in the Perth store. Quick blow by blow account:
-Ribbon tie dress would look fabulous on someone tall and slender. Sort of sack-like on me, though. Fabric is divine.
-Gathered silk dress is BEAUTIFUL. It's frothy perfection, and the fabric is soft and light like a dream. Decided against it due to a slightly weird fit issue (seemed to sag a bit on one side, oddly) but I really do recommend you try it if you've been eyeing it off. It's truly lovely.
-Wide leg pants are quality. 100% wool, good fit. Long in the leg. If you buy them (like I did) then chances are pretty high you'll need to have them taken up. This is a small sacrifice, because they are fabulous, even without the designer label. I would have paid more for 100% wool trousers that fit like this even if they came from Joe's Discount Slack Shack. I got them in black, but the navy would be equally versatile.
-Sweater dress is made from very heavy fabric but the weave is open. You'll need to wear something underneath. The one I tried on had a lot of snagging already, so I'm not sure this is a keep-it-forever kind of piece.
-Tulip trenchcoat still has the hunchback issues even when two sizes too big. I'd be interested to know what any flat-chested girls out there who have tried it think.
If you live North of the river, Innaloo still have an awful lot of stock - pretty much one of every size in every colour. The only thing that I couldn't find bigger than a size 6 was the tie-front shirt. Happy shopping!