by Alex R. Travers
It’s no secret that the lifestyle brand conglomerate Fifth and Pacific has been shedding entities. First to go was Liz Claiborne, which, in fact, used to be the company’s namesake until last year. After Claiborne, it was bye-bye Juicy Couture. Then today it was announced that Fifth and Pacific agreed to sell Lucky Brand Jeans to the private-equity firm Leonard Greenburg and Partners for $225 million. Now, only Adelington Design Group and Kate Spade remain on the roster. “This is all about bringing Kate Spade to its full potential,” said William McComb, Fifth and Pacific’s C.E.O.
Should Lucky Brand be worried? Nah. Their last collection was one of their strongest, and, after all, swapping ownership is just business as usual. Certainly, the Lucky Brand man, in his cut-off sweatpants and jersey tops, didn’t appear to be sweating the change as he relaxed in his hammock this morning. In the end, he knew he’d always have his girl by his side.
And some girl he’s got this season. Just check her out in that brown suede tank and those embellished, beaded shorts. In fact, she could wear those out all day on a shopping trip, come home, swap the top, throw on some black heels, and instantly get her man out of those sweats and into his new black leather jacket and washed slim-fit jeans. And if he really wanted to take her out for a night on the town, her wardrobe was equipped with more dresses than ever this season.
It seemed the key to the dresses’ success was in their body-conscious cutting, appealing necklines, and detailed embroideries. Some shifts had embellished or beaded straps; others had more flair, like the breezy orange mid-calf dress in cotton, detailed with a careful selection of patinaed sequins. If there was an abiding theme to those dresses, it was Americana. Yet it wasn’t only the dresses that proudly waved our flag: the rugged, distressed denims and loose cotton tees—look for those super-short, super-sexy overalls (yes, you heard me correctly) when they hit stores this spring—had a patriotic palette of red, white, and blue.
There’s no doubt that Lucky’s L.A. roots give the brand an edge when it comes to making summer staples. But, this season, they made more play of the details and textures than ever before, particularly with the embroidered shorts, tunic tops, and swisher shifts. Perhaps these were a few ways to say the Lucky customer is growing up or, at least, exploring new ways of dressing. It was striking that the hit of the collection—a suede dress in a deep Mediterranean blue—was not at all denim and entirely embellishment-free. Simple, but oh so sensual.