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In November, J.Crew decided to kill its bridal collection. Though the brand had been making wedding and bridesmaid dresses since 2004, over time, the category became more of a burden than a boon.
In its stead, J.Crew told Racked that it would debut a collection of party dresses, one that would speak to the brand’s knack for feminine patterns and designs. The vibrant collection debuts today, and it is quintessentially J.Crew.
There are 21 different silhouettes in the “Ready to Party” collection, including gingham crop tops, tulle ball gown skirts, ruffled off-the-shoulder dresses, and strapless gowns, with prices ranging from $88 to $298. There are 64 dresses total in 25 different colors — think kelly green, neon yellow, and several different shades of pink (including, of course, millennial pink).
Available on J.Crew’s website today, it will be in stores mid-March. Somsack Sikhounmuong, J.Crew’s womenswear designer, tells Racked the aesthetic J.Crew was shooting for with the collection was “joyful, easy, fun, and classic.”
“You’ll find lots and lots of color, and fabrics like cotton eyelets, seersucker stripes, and liberty prints,” says Sikhounmuong, who was previously Madewell’s head designer. “[These are] fabrics you’ll find on the main line season after season, but we’ve cut them them in fun silhouettes and shapes.”
While there are some pieces in the collection that look pretty formal — and could even pass as a bridesmaid dress — the collection leans a bit more casual, and is a “less precious take” on party dresses, as Sikhounmuong puts it.
Racked previously reported that part of what didn’t work with J.Crew’s bridal collection was that it isolated shoppers who weren’t in bridal parties or shopping for wedding dresses. Sikhounmuong says the brand’s intent for the new collection is to be accessible to all shoppers, which is part of the reason J.Crew is selling plenty of dress styles, in addition to separates.
“I love the idea of these pieces just being great, emotional pieces that any woman or girl would wear to any occasion, whether it was to a party, a date, or just a fun get-together with friends — and if they’re considered by someone for a wedding, then even better!” he adds. “Tulle skirts, bodysuits, printed PJ sets, seersucker ball skirts — the versatility of separates give any and every customer 100 times more opportunity to make each piece their own.”
J.Crew will be rolling out more pieces for the collection on an ongoing basis, with the next delivery scheduled for April.
No word if it will recreate that amazing J.Crew Collection feather skirt that creative director and president Jenna Lyons wore to Solange’s wedding for the party collection, but here’s hoping!