Monday, February 9, 2009

The latest designer diffusion lines: Charlotte Ronson + Isaac Mizrahi

One of my obsessions are the cheap-chic designer collaborations that make high-end designs affordable to the masses. They can be done well, as in the case with Isaac Mizrahi's new collection for working-moms-who-lunch label Liz Claiborne - or lackluster, to the point of looking downright generic when you look past the well-styled promotional looks.

Don't let the styling fool you: Looks from I [Heart] Ronson

The designer in question: Charlotte Ronson (the sister of Mark and Samantha), whose I [Heart] Ronson line for JCPenney is now available on the JCPenney site, and it appears to be on the cheap, generic side. Nylon Magazine had previously gotten ahold of the line and based on the way they styled it, the line has potential when mixed right. Either way, it may be worth checking out in person. There are a few pretty floral dresses and a cute but basic vest, and after all the price is right - it retails for $15 to $65, while Ronson's contemporary line wholesales for $70 to $130. If nothing else, the line should make up for the shockingly inappropriate junior line Kimora Lee Simmons did for the discount retailer.

A look from Isaac Mizrahi for Liz Claiborne

On the other hand, Isaac Mizrahi’s collection for Liz Claiborne is surprisingly good. It retains the use of color and smart separates that made his Target line successful, but replaces the occasional frumpiness of that line with a little extra chicness. To be fair, it’s doubtful that Mizrahi did much of the designing on the Target line himself, so it appears he’s more hands-on with his Claiborne gig. The price points are a bit higher than what we’re used to, ranging from $149 for a simple strapless wool dress and $49 for a crew-neck sweater, but judging from the online lookbook, everything looks higher-end than it really is - which, after all, is the point of cheap chic lines.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so happy you posted this and agree I'm surprise at how much I adore Isaac's latest. Those wide leg white pants are killer.