Elle for Kohl’s Spring 2015

Elle For KholsOoh lah lah.

Parisian chic isn’t usually a term associated with the budget department store chain Kohl’s. But, a special limited edition collection that debuted last month during New York Fashion Week is aiming to bring a bit of elan to Kohl’s customers.

Collages441The collection by Kohl’s in-house design team uses the Elle brand as its inspiration promising a taste of the Elle trademark French glamour and sophistication at Kohl’s prices. The results: elegant chic with some terrific dashes of panache.

Collages444The bulk of the collection was built around wardrobe staples done with a dash of style. A trench coat, for example, was catapulted from the mundane to standout status with well-placed black piping that flattered the figure. Houndstooth check jazzed up an otherwise basic peplum top paired with textured front cigarette pants.

Collages442There was a cheeky, street-smart sensibility here as well with several pieces boasting French phrases like sweaters that winked with slogans like “L’amour,” “Oui Oui,” and “J’adore.” Of course, this isn’t Chanel but the French are known for a sense of cheeky irony so these slogan items seemed perfectly in step with the mood and feel of a street-smart Paris woman.

Images courtesy of Presley Ann Slack

Images courtesy of Presley Ann Slack

The most interesting and risky (fashion-wise) pieces came in the eveningwear. A perfectly on-trend organza stripe dress hit just the right notes as did a deceptively simple lace shell and pencil skirt combination. But a Charles James–inspired high-low ball gown, while admirably ambitious and eye-catching, showed the limitations of creating on a Kohl’s budget. Even in our egalitarian world, there are still some things that call for a higher quality of materials and execution.

But, this was a minor misstep in a mostly exemplary collection that will give the Kohl’s customer plenty of budget-conscious options.

—Karyn D. Collins


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