Today, the Gap is unveiling a very beige trio of capsule collections from the winners of this year's Vogue/CFDA Fashion Fund awards. So how did Patrik Ervell, Sophie Théallet, and jewelry designer Monique Péan do?
First, let's have some color. Sophie Théallet's main line is flirtatious but grown-up — and unfortunately, the French-bred, Brooklyn-based designer's dresses often cost more than $2,000. For the Gap, she's kept her signatures, like ruffles, shirring and gathers, and ribbon accents, but the pieces won't cost quite that much.
Which is not to say that I wasn't a little shocked when I found out this gorgeous ruffled red dress will cost $248.
And this chiffon top, pretty though it is, will set you back $148.
Part of the explanation for the cost might be the materials used. Hobotai, which Théallet uses extensively, according to these sketches, is a kind of silk. But traditionally, the CFDA/Vogue Gap collaborations have been much, much more realistically priced: Last year's Vena Cava printed dress was $88. (I waited till it went on sale, and grabbed one for $30, mainly because the print was great and it had pockets.)
Patrik Ervell's men's button-down shirts are beautiful — especially this one, with its mother-of-pearl buttons — and I'd certainly wear one. But not for $188. Thakoon's white shirt for the Gap, produced three years ago, cost $88. (Which is still a lot more than the Jil Sander men's buttondowns you can get at Uniqlo, under her consistently excellent +J label.)
Moreover, does everything Ervell makes for Gap have to be beige?
Jewelry designer Monique Péan fell into the same trap. Astoundingly, this twine and bone bead necklace costs $198. Another option, with "naturally shed buffalo horn" beads for interest, is $248.
Théallet's designs are mostly winners. This one, however, looks very familiar...
Turns out Michelle Obama wore a strikingly similar version from Théallet's main line on a state visit to Ghana last summer.
But, as that other Obama might say, let's be clear: This is a beach cover up and nothing more. And at $198, it's a pricey one.
It's clear Théallet, and to a lesser extent Ervell and Péan, kept a pretty wide variety of customers in mind when planning these lines. I could see a lot of these items on women of many different ages, and the cuts are classic and flattering. But will anyone be so enthused as to drop $200-$300 on any of these? I guess we'll find out: Women's Wear Daily reports that all of these collections are on sale today, nationwide.