Last night, as J.Crew premiered its CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund collaboration pop-up shop, Jenna Lyons took a moment with the Cut to share her thoughts on office style. Surprisingly, she was pretty ambivalent on the topic: "If your teeth are clean and you have a good handshake and you’re groomed, I don’t care what you wear. Go for it. Whatever works for you," Lyons said. Even a shorts suit? "Oh yeah, there are a lot of legs in our office."
Tom Mora, the company's head of women's design, is on the mankles train: "I either crop my pants so you can see part of my ankle, or I roll them. Even if you have a big ankle it’s nice, because there’s something really masculine about those big, lumbering legs. I think it works for everybody."
As shoppers perused the designs from Public School, Marc Alary, and Juan Carlos Obando, Lyons talked about working with the three different labels. With Obando, "you can feel him percolating. He’s excited and wants to pull ten things, and you’re like, ‘Oh my God, how is he going to pull this together?’ And then, all of a sudden, he serves up a very concise, consistent idea. Then Marc is very meticulous in the way he works, in the way he talks, in the way he dresses, in the way that he designs — everything is about the very minute details. He works so small."
Lyons even convinced Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne of Public School to debut womenswear for the collaboration. (They've since introduced it into their main line.) "We were like, what?" recalled Osborne. "Excuse me? Jenna was like, 'No, you’re doing women’s.' And that was actually great, because it really was the precursor to us starting women’s and feeling comfortable doing it, and I think working with the J.Crew staff, especially Jenna and Tom, made it that much easier." Added Alary, who comes from the fine-jewelry realm, "This is such a different market from what I [typically] do; it’s interesting to see who you’re reaching. For me, it’s a good introduction for other people in general to enter my world, because maybe my world’s a bit difficult to access." Other than a tricky-to-open jewelry case that foiled guest Prabal Gurung, there were no access problems last night.