Appreciated for her reverse appliqué, her ragged hems, her reliance on the tradition needlework of local women, Natalie Chanin makes clothes that look both lovingly homemade and irresistibly chic. She’s up for one of Vogue magazine’s design awards; indeed, this is her second nomination.
So strong is her distinctive look that it has, I believe, infiltrated the twill, the repp stripes, the twin sets of J Crew. In fact, I, who rarely am tempted by anything beyond the basics (shorts, cardis, pencil skirts) chez J, have been happily ordering tiered tops (one tailored and silk, the other a raggedy-chic Alabama homage [see below]):
I wore this top yesterday (in blossom pink; see below) with a soft gray v-neck cardigan, held together by my grandmother’s large vintage cameo pin. I’d been wondering how to wear this pin, for I don’t like fussy or formal in my look (my personality, however, incorporates both).
Two other possible Alabama homages are this appliquéd t-shirt, which I do not own:
And this beaded t-shirt, which I have in blue:
They both combine sophisticated but primitive needlework with a keen eye and “eye” like what I see.
Maybe it’s time to change the company name—temporarily at least—from J Crew to J Craft?