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Is 'Classic J.Crew' Back?

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Spring 2016 marks eight seasons with J.Crew on the New York Fashion Week schedule. The presence of the mass retailer on the show calendar has grown from brow-raising — "but they're a mall brand" — to NYFW highlight, earned by season after season of downright worthy looks. Yesterday's presentation came with three new elements that made it especially notable. Least consequentially, a new time slot; more consequentially, the exit of womenswear designer Tom Mora (his replacement, Somsack Sikhounmuong of Madewell, won't make his formal design debut 'til next season); and ranking highest in importance, recent statements from CEO Mickey Drexler waxing on "iconic classics" to turn around faltering sales numbers.

"There are certain things in our fashion 'DNA' that we believe in and stand for," says Jenna Lyons in the show notes. "Stripes, chambray, woven shirting fabrics, casual-ized sequins, ginghams, madras, and tailoring," she explains, all of which were worked into the spring looks. The collection felt less conceptual than seasons past — not that J.Crew ever veered avant garde, but it certainly has a reputation for layering color, texture, silhouette. That was stripped down for spring, leaving outfits with just four or five elements — off-the-shoulder top, cropped trouser, belt, sandals — instead of six or seven. Aided by crinkle gingham shirts and striped blazers the effect was "classic J.Crew," with just enough "here, now" factor from midi skirts and culottes.

Of notable absence was its premium denim line, Point Sur, which has been a focus of recent J.Crew Collection presentations. One of the only appearances of denim came in one of the bolder looks, number 11, a Japanese denim poncho. Have a peak at all the the back-to-our-roots! J.Crew looks in the gallery above, and do let us know what you think in the comments.