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Banana Republic

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What with the velvet sofas, sunshine streaming in through the windows, and live folksy music by A Fine Frenzy, yesterday's Banana Republic show at the Bowery Hotel was quite intimate. According to creative director Simon Kneen, that was intentional: "The collection has so much texture. We wanted everyone to see it up closer than usual—more 3-D than 2-D."

The designer captured quite a few Fall trends. There were tissue-thin cotton turtlenecks (like the ones we saw a month back at Celine) layered under tunic blouses; classic plaid and herringbone patterns in charcoal shades, which looked best on a slim pair of jodhpur-y pants; and "Dunaway-esque" cloches and brogue heels to finish the looks. As for the texture Kneen was eager to highlight, it came across most clearly in a nubby heritage sweater worn with a winter white brocade pencil skirt. A camel, double-face wool topcoat, which the creative director described as a deconstructed take on the trench, was a standout. And while it could've been the Alana Zimmer factor, we wanted to nab the model's simple, dove gray leather bomber with shearling collar and slouchy Lurex beanie.

On the boys' side, it was about toughened-up tailoring. A double-breasted suit jacket or leather peacoat worked well with comfortable yet polished wool drawstring trousers. To top it all off: "bad boy" fedoras. Like a lot of other pieces in this show, we've seen them elsewhere before, but they still have street-style cred.
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