My "coup de coeur" this season was the Banana Republic show. I was expecting the run of the mill mold of sitting down facing a runway and watching the models walk by, but cookie cutter it was not. The on-model presentation was open-to-the-public and served to debut the full Banana Republic x Olivia Palermo capsule. This means that once the models were done descending the staircase showcasing their outfits, they headed outside to stand on a podium in front of the Fifth Avenue store where customers had gathered. This formula was a hit as hundreds of customers were lined up and wrapped around the block to shop Banana Republic and have a “meet and greet” with Palermo. Some 250 people were allowed into the store at a time along with media and influencers. What I also loved about this event was their "see-now-buy-now concept", where literally what you see on the model can be purchased in stores immediately instead of waiting till the following year.
Olivia's limited edition collection was 70's era inspired with asymmetric trenchcoats, cropped flared jeans, high-waisted skinny corduroy pants, ruffle herringbone capes, brocade skirts and long-sleeved pleated front-ruffle shirts, long-sleeved tie-neck maxidresses, and long military overcoats. The ensemble had rich colors, leather belts, brocaded jackets and velvety dresses perfectly balanced with chiffons and timeless neutrals along with silky calf-length skirts giving it a romantic twist. Olivia herself was dressed from head to toe in her Banana Republic x Olivia Palermo line and was sweet and approachable.
What made this event even more interesting was the sudden fur protest which had nothing to do with Palermo's Banana Republic collection, but her apparent use of fur in her personal life. Animal activists jumped out of the crowd flash mob style picketing their disgust. Needless to say that everyone was caught off guard, as was I. One of the activists jumped into my face with his sign yelling so loud I couldn't even understand what he was saying. It was rather unpleasant. The models were ushered back inside as was Olivia and the rest of the people around her. Security would not let us back out of the store until they were 100% sure everything was under control. Forty-five minutes later, I got to go back outside and meet up with my photographer who was on the other side of the street taking pictures. Talk about an exciting and surprising show!
Regardless of the picketers and their scene, I truly enjoyed the event and strongly recommend checking out the collection and Banana Republic made a fantastic decision collaborating with Miss Palermo.