Wednesday, March 9, 2011

New York Part 1: Eileen Fisher Studio


Sal has already done a thorough post on our trip to the Eileen Fisher studio in New York, but I thought I'd share some of my photos and thoughts from our visit. As Sal has already mentioned, I was initially a skeptic, having only known Eileen Fisher for a particular type of loose-fitting, neutrals-only clothing that might be worn by say, a 60-something art teacher in Marin County. In other words, not my style. But right away when we walked into the studio I could see that the brand has evolved; I saw color, I saw shine, and I saw shape. The clothing is still designed with comfort and wearability in mind, but the addition of some more playful elements gives it a verve that was lacking when I first noticed the brand in the 90's.

Rich, jewel tones are big in the Fall 2011 line, with subtle sequin details.

The new line still looks luxuriously comfortable, but the draping is much more figure-flattering 
than some of the boxier shapes that have dominated the line in the past.

You won't see many patterns in Eileen Fisher clothes; instead the emphasis is placed on texture and weave, which results in pieces that are easily mixed and matched. Many of the fabrics are also washable; I would call most of these clothes "luxury basics" that will hold up to the rigors of a busy day while still looking chic.

A delicate lace knit creates texture, while the solid color makes the piece easy to 
incorporate into an existing wardrobe.

A couple of models showing off the Fall 2011 line. 
Sal and I both fell in love with that adorable anorak.

The most exciting development at Eileen Fisher is the addition of shoes to the company's offerings. I still can't believe that what we saw represents the company's first foray into the world of shoes; the designs were stylish, beautifully crafted, and clearly designed with comfort in mind. I noticed great details such as hardware accents, ruched leather, exposed stitches, and wedge heels combined with butter-soft leather, wearable heel heights and padded insoles. I can't wait to try a few of these on when they hit the stores. I'm hoping the company might consider adding some more color to the shoes in future seasons; I could see many of the styles looking great in olive green, mustard yellow, or a deep cranberry.


I was also impressed with the company's commitment to sustainability and fair labor practices, and just the overall philosophy of the brand. I'm glad Sal dragged me along for the tour, because I emerged with a new appreciation of the company and their clothes.

Divine textures combined to create rich, interesting looks.

13 comments:

Deja Pseu said...

I'm really loving some of the colors in their fall palette, and look forward to seeing the shoes up close!

I'll also attest not only to the wearability, but also the *durability* of EF's basic pieces. Some of my silk tees and tunics in regular rotation are going on three years old and still going strong.

Email me at ariel.m.adkins@gmail.com said...

Great color palette and I'm loving the chunky knits!

K.Line said...

I love that khaki green dress.

LPC said...

They should hire you as design consultant:).

Sal said...

Man, your photos are so much better than mine! It really was a treat to tour that showroom ...

Jane W. said...

Yum yum! Time to start squirreling away my pennies. If only I could feed Ramen to my family in good conscience....

The D said...

I LOVE that chocolate brown wedge...thing. I know little about shoes, so I don't really know what to call that style. But I WANT it.

Chelsea said...

love the shoes! but why oh why don't comfortable and chic shoes come in fun colors or prints?

MJ said...

The textured and coloured wool on the bottom photos is incredible - really good styling!

ReaderRita said...

Hello, Eileen Fisher!
*drool*

Fawn said...

I used to think of Eileen Fisher as "Berkeley therapist" clothing, but last year I picked up a silk/cashmere knit hoodie in a flattering shade of coral at a sample sale (for $12!) and realized I needed to give the brand another look. Really, REALLY liking those shoes!

Who Moved my Birkin said...

Audi-
WOW! Another great post for EF!

Thank you!

Your photos are good too Sal, don't stress :)

CCK

Freya said...

love your blog, for nerds like me :)