J Crew Casts “Normal People” and Ditches Models

To continue with the latest movement of inclusion in the fashion industry, legendary brand J. Crew casted 64 strangers to model their SS17 RTW collection. Creative Director, Jenna Lyons decided to go a different route with this show in order to showcase everyday people and the J. Crew consumer. While we are custom to see super models take over the catwalk, things were different this time around. Instead, we saw teachers, bloggers, photographers, artists, activists and students whose ages ranged from 13 to 72 years old modeling the brand’s upcoming collection.

The diversity of this show made the clothes further more attractive because people like the high school teacher, the student or the stay at home mom were able to envision themselves in each of those garments. For this show, the models were even given the carte blanche to do their hair and make-up as they desired, making them even more appealing to the masses.

Lyons created a collection full of the brand’s signature looks with a refreshing twist. Stripes, chambray, polka-dots and khaki were predominant throughout the show, but with a breath fresh air. According to her, “We chose three ideas to expand on: chinos, stripes and the color pink. We then looked at them through the lens of all of our customers—the preppy ones, the tomboys, the girly-girls, the workwear guys, the traditionalists, the peacocks…” and she did not disappoint. The result was one of the most real and shopabble collections so far,  because it was fun and accessible for all kinds of people.

While every look was exquisite and breathed its own life, there were many showstoppers. The blue on blue trend was seen in many garments, and one particular winner was an off-shoulder stripped blouse paired with a new version of a midi-skirt in chambray and with heavy ruffles. To continue with the lingerie trend we have seen in the past seasons, Lyons paired a pastel rose silk pajama top with a pencil skirt.  Finally, another breathtaking look was a khaki ensemble that was a mix of eveningwear and casual comfort. This khaki gown combine ruffles, with a polka dot netting lining at the skirt and was juxtaposed with a long sleeve blouse as the top.

At the end of this show, it was nice to be reminded  that fashion is for all people regardless of their sizes or ages, and J. Crew demonstrated that in the most perfect way.


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