Monday, February 10, 2014
Pilotto and Target and Me
We love our personal rituals, don't we? Besides the big occasions that mark our lives - holidays, birthdays, spiritual or religious events, anniversaries - we each have our private, singular rites that we choose to do to help us get through our days with our skin intact, make life a tad more interesting and meaningful, or just improve the quality of our mundane world. Little rituals.
And those of you who are kind enough to frequent these pages know that one of mine is to get up very early on the designated Sunday and drive many miles to show up for the first hours of availability of Target collaborations with designers like Issack Mizrahi, Prabal Garung or Phillip Lim. These events happen only a couple of times a year and feature the ideas of designers whose work I will never get to wear in any other way. My husband doesn't have to participate in this rite but he does, 'cause he's just that kind of guy. I'm the only woman who has turned up recently for these events at our local Target ... there's no fanfare, no excitement, no long lines of eager customers ... just me and Dan, my sleepy chauffeur.
Very early morning me, waiting for Target to open. As there was no line, I opted to
play on the architectural elements of the store front. As one does.
And looking more comfortable than I was in the the cold.
We weren't going to do it this time, but we did. The weather was against the local debut ... it was very cold and gray and I understand why sensible women stayed home. We decided to show up just so someone in the area would be there to offer a little interest and at least fly the flag.
Ritual was satisfied, but that was about it, because I was underwhelmed by the collection when I actually got to touch it and try things on. This collection has lots of beautiful and interesting qualities and the pieces are going to be fabulous on some women, somewhere, but I am clearly not the woman that these designers had in mind as the customer.
Peter Pilotto, the brand (which is not just one guy, but both Mr. Pilotto and his design cohort Christopher De Vos as a team,) is famous for their bright prints. The collaboration didn't disappoint on that front. The prints were vivid and of-the-moment, and look fabulous on the very tall models wearing them in the ads. The pre-mixed prints were fun to look at, but the love wasn't coming back to me when I tried them on. The very interesting patterns were overwhelming on the racks, and just as overwhelming on my very short frame. Many of the colors were more acidic than is flattering on me. Many of the pieces had raglan sleeves, and I don't wear those well. Others had cap sleeves, and ditto on those as unflattering for me. There was quite a lot of neoprene, which can result in a sculptural coolness, but I didn't really like how it was applied to this collection. Lookbooks are neat for previewing collections, but you don't get the tactile feedback.
Three racks total for our small Target ...
this center rack and two smaller ones on either side
I counted only 17 items out of the 70-something items in the entire collection, and only one of the items I thought I might like was available. I did like a red, blue and black summer dress, and I did try it and buy it, and you'll see it here eventually. It will require alterations, as so many items do, but I know I'll like it when I'm finished.
This completed ritual wasn't an unqualified success for me, but it was a refresher-lesson on three pretty important concepts.
The first is this: not all style ideas are suited to all women, but the part for me to remember is that it wasn't my fault the line didn't work perfectly for me. Most of the silhouettes weren't flattering for me, and the garment needs to work for the wearer and not the other way around. This I learned from Tim Gunn.
The second is that when I alter a garment to suit my figure or taste, I get to become a part of the creative process. The designer makes a template for me to finish and adapt and make my own. That applies to fit alterations, but also to styling choices that we all make when we decide how WE choose to wear an item.
And finally, when I alter an item to fit my specific frame, it ceases to be any size other than mine. Rather than a size 6, or an 8 or a 10 or a size 12, it becomes "size Jan." The item becomes really my own. And when you look at it that way, how cool that?
Linking up with Season Defying Patti at
and Fashion Week Reporting Seeker at