As Jenna Lyons, the new president of J.Crew, previously told StyleList, the autumn collection was conceived as "Edie Beale-goes-to-Girl Scout camp." "Grey Gardens" icon Beale, the subject of a 1975 documentary, a 2006 Broadway musical, and a 2009 HBO biopic, became a cult fashion figure for her quirky, layered outfits.
J.Crew played with the contrasts of glamour and utilitarian style, both in its clothing and the setting of the catalog's opening pages. Mora notes that the collection hinges on "the idea of new classics, rebuilding them and reconstructing them... They're very comfortable looking; they're slouchy. The colors are moody and earthy."
In keeping with the guiding spirit of Beale, Mora underscored the "grandma chic [of layering], with an emphasis on texture. Or think about your grandfather's sweater and layering over that."
Subtle colors, especially various shades of green, are key to this layered style. "The muted colors allow you to layer colors that wouldn't necessarily go together," believes Mora. Moss green, forest green, and a sallow olive bridge the gap between grays, blush pinks, and reddish browns.
J.Crew September Catalog
Get an exclusive sneak peek of J.Crew's luxurious and laid-back September catalog.
Courtesy of J.Crew
A magpie love of shiny things brightens up both the dressy and casual clothes. Sequins sparkle on pencil skirts, cardigans, tees, and harem pants. Even the models' nails have an extra gleam, with a special heat-activated coating that gives a metallic luster.
The shine really kicks in on the pages with the cast of the upcoming film "The Romantics," including Katie Holmes and Josh Duhamel. As we previewed earlier this month, the actresses shimmy in sequins, beads, and embroidered crystals.
Glitter aside, the women's looks still borrow freely from the boys. Oxford shoes, checked shirts, and utility jackets give the feminine frills a tough overlay.
Women have also been ordering directly from the men's pages; the extra-small sizes available in shirts and sweaters make the raiding parties even easier.
One of Mora's favorite men's items is a dove-gray heathered wool cardigan. "The contrast-color buttons make it look vintage, even Japanese... the Japanese have such a hyper-vision of American style," he says. "They've done such amazing things with American style so it comes full circle, in a way."
Meanwhile, check out these fall hair and makeup trends.