Well, we didn’t expect it to be subtle. Starting with the sleek black runway, peeled back moments before showtime, last night’s Attitude Jay Manuel presentation was OTT. The America’s Next Top Model personality teamed up with Sears as the creative director for the department store’s in-house clothing line.
Yasmin Warsame, in YSL-via-Tom-Ford-inspired white pantsuit, lead a charge of models sporting super-pinned finger waves and exaggerated eye makeup. About those models: Rumors of a special guest star ran wildly toward Tyra Banks or Gwen Stefani, but in the end it was a half-dozen Top Model alums, including Rebecca Hardy and Meaghan Waller, the two winners of the Canadian incarnation of the modelling show.
Though the show was styled to the hilt by celebrity stylist June Ambrose and overlooked by an imposing poster of Manuel, let’s get down to brass tacks: the Attitude show is really about what the customer is going to buy. Here are some of the pieces we liked–much of it outerwear: A grey-and-black check trench and coordinating draped jacket, a short box-pleat trench with a metallic sheen, a blush-hued blouse, a cobalt-blue military coat and a knit jacket in the same colour, a cap-sleeve LBD with piped seams. There were also plenty of office-appropriate shifts and skirts, as well as basic turtlenecks in black, fuchsia and blue to help facilitate the current trend toward colour blocking.
At the end, one half-expected Jay Manuel to rise from the floor surrounded by smoke, or to burst through the backdrop that bore his likeness, such was the drama of the proceedings. Things will be less dramatic, surely, when the clothes hit stores come fall. But we think they’ll sell. And that’s the point, isn’t it.