Into The Lyon’s Den

At New York ‘s Spring ‘13 fashion week there was reason to do a double take, Marissa Webb’s first collection premiered and it was all we that we love about J-crew’s eclectic sophistication- and more. There is a very good reason why Webb’s spring ‘13 collection has a strong, undeniable resemblance to J. Crew’s signature carefully crafted mix-matched ladylike and casual aesthetic- which began to take shape when Jenna Lyons too the helm. The reason is that Webb, who graduated from FIT, had a hand in designing many of those impeccably tailored blazers, silk blouses, brocade cafe’ capris and paisley No. 2 pencil skirts…in fact Webb worked as head of Women’s design at J. Crew along with Lyons and Mickey Drexler for more than 10 years (she left to pursue her own line in 2011). Although Web insists that the similarities between the two labels are not intentional she admits that her style has not changed since working at Jcrew and the same muses that spoke to her then still influence her designs at her eponymous label.

A lot of people ask me, ‘Will your collection look like J. Crew?’ ” she says while prepping the collection over the summer. “The honest answer is: In my mind, no. But after being at J. Crew for 11 years, a lot of my own personal aesthetic is in J. Crew, because that was my job. The same things that influenced me then influence me now.” ~wwd

The robin’s egg-blue sequined tunic reminds me of a very J. Crew collection sequin piece as does the dove gray lady-like tweed jacket and shorts combo with bright teal accents and the sunny neon  yellow shorts and blouse paired with a serious gray blazer. However, some pieces of Webb’s collection have a distinctly model-off-duty feel and in facet her line as a whole is more tough and urban than preppy-quirky-chic.

The motorcycle pants, Kate Moss-esque short-shorts, graphic black and white contrast pieces, black leather sleeveless shell and  black leather pleated mini paired with a white top are all very minimalist and very rock n’ roll- something that the J. Crew aesthetic doesn’t necessarily portray. These edgy ensembles are more of Alexander Wang’s urban-rockstar than J. crew’s tomboyish-minx but that seems fitting since Webb’s line is considered “luxury contemporary” and price points fall between $215 for a Tee and up to $1,500 for a dress. 

So, while Webb’s pieces do touch upon J. Crew’s flare for mixing masculine and feminine, fancy and casual, serious and cheeky…her line brings some serious street-wise edge to the table. But I must comment on the fact that  the seriously gorgeous Webb has Ms. Lyons signature enigmatic tongue-in-cheek smile and flare for rocking a blazer. As for her new label- it is most definitely the one to watch.

{photosource: style bistro}

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