With military influences remaining such a strong trend both on and off the runway (every other person on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg sports a green army jacket these days), it’s no surprise Banana Republic’s Fall 2010 collection was heavy on utility pieces. The retailer certainly knows a thing or two about the style—it originally peddled safari vests and field coats before being acquired and rebranded by Gap.
Creative director Simon Kneen turned out twill miniskirts, an olive-drab wool dress, and slim cargo pants, which he paired with washed silk frocks and great cardigans tailored to resemble ladylike jackets. “It’s all about the modern mix,” he said backstage. “Formalwear mixed with casual attire and sportswear.” The mostly neutral procession of looks wasn’t the most exciting big-brand collection we’ve seen, but Kneen’s mix-it-up message speaks to the approach these companies must take now: “It’s about the individual, rather than a uniformed look.”