Behind the Design: Julie & Jessica on the August Collection

The equation for our August collection is simple: add twists of classy quirk to staple silhouettes, and voila—a selection of intellectual looks with exponential charm! Associate Designer Jessica and Print Designer Julie studied up on nostalgia and explored intellectual themes to develop the aforementioned formula, which earns high marks all around. Keep reading to get their take on these truly studious styles.

quirky prints

Jessica, Associate Designer

Where did the mood and attitude of this collection originate?
When thinking about the fall season, we were drawn to the classic back-to-school idea. The weather was getting cooler and we were all feeling a bit nostalgic for those school years: passionate about what we’re studying, going to campus and the library… We then imagined these two smart, independent girls following their dreams: one with a Master of Arts degree and the other with a Master of Sciences degree.

Our first month follows our Master of Science girl, who we imagined in a lab or discovering new theorems, totally engrossed in her world of equations and molecules. She is smart and inspired but also stylishly clad in some back-to-school faves. We were inspired by the school-girl looks of the ’50s and ’60s.

What design techniques were used to communicate the overall vibe of the collection?
This collection features a lot of great fabrications: twills, tweeds, plaids, houndstooths, wooly brushed fabrics, and cozy fall yarns. We also used some new corduroy and wide wale fabrics, which I was very excited about. The prints really bring the collection together as we have fun molecule prints, pencils, paper clips, beakers and flasks

Our florals are, however, my favorites of the delivery. They are all hand drawn by Julie, and I just find them to be so uniquely beautiful with their nod to vintage florals of the era.

Which pieces were you most excited to see come to life?
I loved so many of the pieces from this collection that it’s hard to choose favorites! I am especially obsessed with our grey-and-white polka dot coat. The fabric is amazing and it is so cozy and warm. It really stands out over any outfit! I really love our herringbone mini skirt. It features two patch pockets on the front and pairs back to all of our blouses and tops. It’s the perfect back-to-school mini. The fabric weave has some subtle pops of soft pink and cobalt blue which really make it special. I also really love our blue corduroy jumper styled with a simple tee, our new striped Charter School Pullover, or some of our special detail blouses (especially those with extravagant sleeves!)

quirky printsPictured: Salient Style Wool Coat

Julie, Print Designer

Tell us about your favorite pieces from the collection, and why.
Wow, where do I start!? I love the pencil and paperclip prints. I saw a ton of kids the other day with their back-to-school supply lists and got a little jealous! I miss picking out gel pens and folders! I also love the deep green floral in our Relished Ruffles blouse. The print is easy and the colors are so vibrant and juicy! A stunner.

quirky printsPictured: Relished Ruffles Long Sleeve Blouse

We’re living for the classic-from-afar, quirky-up-close approach to prints this season! Can you walk us through your inspiration?
I love a practical print with some whimsy. Our trend concept this month is called “Master of Science”—imagining our girl is returning to campus to get her degree in the STEM field. We wanted to nod to our fave geek chic and provide some fun cheekiness for the very serious student. In our molecule print you can find caffeine, calcium, and potassium: everything you need to keep you going for those late night study sessions. We have your full supply list covered; no. 2 pencils, paper clips, graph paper (with your equations already complete—you’re welcome) and some dino skeletons for our paleontology majors.

quirky printsPictured: Charming Cotton Skirt with Pockets in Science

Are any of your own experiences / memories tied into your designs for August?
It was seriously so fun to go “back to school” and design these prints. I, however, went to an arts-focused high school and then art college to study textiles and printmaking, so my science and math skills are lacking to say the very least. Because of that I enlisted the help of some of my coworkers who actually know something about STEM fields. Our chief of staff, Janine, helped me with our graph-math equation prints. She easily jotted down some trigonometry and totally blew my mind. My biggest memory tied to these prints was how much I loved a reallllly sharp no. 2 pencil right before taking a bubble test. Nothing like the feeling of a perfectly filled in bubble on a scantron sheet. Do they still do those? Is everything on computers nowadays? Am I a thousand years old?

quirky printsPictured: Optimistic Effect Sleeveless Dress in Equations

There’s no better way to test out these stunning styles than with the help of a ModStylist at one of our FitShops.

+What are you faves from the collection?

About Savannah

If something's happening on stage, you can probably find Savannah there, from house shows and dramatic theater productions to faraway metal gigs and full-on festivals. Otherwise, she spends her days elbows-deep in carb-heavy meals, rattling about years spent overseas, and testing the creative limits of an all-black wardrobe.

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