Parisian brand Sézane (a label well-known abroad, but not available in North America) has created a 14-piece capsule collection exclusively for Madewell. We adore this collaboration for its inherent laissez-faire cool, à la the French girls overseas we so admire via style blogs. Tailored and slightly dressy, but still undone (and therefore sexy), the ‘Madewell et Sézane’ look puts the perfect twist on our beloved retailer’s established unfussiness. Sézane’s designer, Morgane Sézalory, says her creative objective was to craft “the perfect black dress, the bag for all seasons, things that are both practical and quality.” And we’re grateful that she’s accomplished her mission sartorially through each of these latest pieces. The cocoon coat, booties, shift dresses, and satchel are all gorgeous collector’s items that look chic and modern, but timeless. Price-wise, we wouldn’t say they’re inexpensive, but relative to the cost of French designs, they’re by no means tagged outrageously. Styled any number of ways to be dressed up or down, these items will offer their wearers a luxury that sensible Madewell fans have come to expect: longevity. That multi-season lifespan, along with versatility and affordability, is a key facet of all the best things in Madewell’s oeuvre.
The standout piece du jour, which is likely now on most fashionable minds, is a certain grey sweatshirt printed with the words ‘La Superbe’. Digitally active fashion-lovers will recognize the garment from many snaps shared online earlier this year. When it was first released in France (from the real, non-Madewell Sézane), it sold out in mere days, and the style-savvy women who rocked it were photographed repeatedly. That same piece has been re-issued now for Sézane’s growing stateside fans (or possibly for any regretful Europeans who wished they’d nabbed it the first time around).
Regarding the collection in its entirety, Madewell’s head designer, Somsack Sikhounmuong, notes that the French-factor of these 14 garments blends into the retailer’s aesthetic, which distinctly American casual. He says, “Both cultures share a love for effortless, just easy [style]. Sometimes I think the Americans take the comfort part a little to the extreme. So the great thing about the French girls is it’s still dressy — you still look considered — and you’re never messy, but you’re still very comfortable and effortless and it’s not trying too hard.” That ‘comfortable-effortless-dressy’ bit is music to our ears. As of yesterday, the Madewell et Sézane collection is available for purchase on Madewell’s official site.