I was the one of those girls that had broken heart last year when I heard the news that New York City’s label Lyell is saying goodbye. Emma Fletcher, designer left very emotive note on her website for all her fans. I was the one that was also touched by her words and amazed with her passion. Although I’ve never stepped in Lyell’s boutique in New York’s Nolita nor I don’t know Emma Fletcher in personal, this news made me sad. At that time in my life I was thinking more about the ethics of a fashion, market and a consumer behavior so after the news that Lyell is shutting down with huge discount I was making presumptions of what happened to label. Is it because of the fast fashion and ability that you can buy very similar blouse for three times less money that’s created by a child? Or Emma wanted to close the chapter of success that label achieved? Or Emma couldn’t fit in the character of today’s designer that’s creating in sly manner. Why slyly? Because many of those that are making our clothes have to believe that we cannot have in the closet that we really need. Your pants are not exactly what you want but you going to buy them, and another year you would buy yourself another pair. Ordinary consumer could not believe how much of psychology is behind his pants. That’s how it goes in fashion, this is not the fairest world and fashion is part of that world. So what Emma Fletcher did differently? What kind of fashion is the fashion that Lyell used to offer? Unquestionably, that wasn’t fashion based on a trend. Forget about that. Patterns were very classical and feminine, details were smart, and collections were similar. Lyell girl was the girl that possessed sensuality of 1930s, frisky vibe of roaring twenties and was enough special to get a role in French 1960s movie. All that means that from Lyell you could get something that you will wear and could wear in a different ways. To go back on example of the pants that means you need just two pair of pants and you won’t buy eight other pairs if these are perfect. In the term of what fashion means today, could we even call that fashion? I don’t know and I am not very smart nor educated to declare that. But what I know is that Emma Fletcher did something beautiful and very personal. That was a kind of clothes that you would make if you were designing for yourself; not boring but what you need. So I believe that Emma Fletcher is designer in the true sense of the word. She knew exactly what girl needs and in the world of phonies that’s not a very usual case. One more thing that makes Emma not so ordinary designer is the fact that she doesn’t sketch or sew (interview in W mag). Seems that you don’t need the “old-school” for the “what’s good or not” feeling.
After all of this scribbles of mine, you are familiar with my connection with Lyell, so you understand how surprised I was when I heard recently that Emma teamed up with beauty brand Tocca to create their ready to wear line (Tocca had a popular RTW line back in the 90s). For the first collection this autumn Emma did a great job. Like in the case of the Lyell, there are plenty of lovely basics that can be romantic or sophisticated. Or both. Again Emma Fletcher paid attention to every detail so lace is imported from France, and wool for coats is from Italy and England. And every blouse is made in silk. So if social means that you have to pick the groups that determine you as a persona I can say I belong to the nostalgic Lyell group that is happy that Emma Fletcher is back.
IMAGES IN COLLAGE VIA LYELL, TOCCA