Sunday, October 07, 2007

Temperley for Target's GO International project

Target billboard Times Square 2007

There’s a huge Target billboard in Times Square but it’s not aimed at Manhattan-ites. It’s a branding exercise directed at the thousands of tourists who throng Midtown every day. If you live on this island, then you have to head off to Queens or Jersey on a dedicated Target shopping mission.

Although, mostly, there’s bugger all reason why you’d want to – it’s basically like heading to a Tesco Extra in the suburbs – unless of course you want to check out their GO International regular collaborations with young design houses. Luella was first off eighteen months ago, followed most notably by Paul & Joe last year, Proenza Schouler this spring and now, the eighth, from the quintessentially English design house, Temperley.

After spending the afternoon checking out the Emperor’s new clothes at PS1, MoMA’s Queens outpost, we jumped back on the Subway to Queens Boulevard and Target. And, after an hour scrabbling through the rails, my haul? Two pairs of Hanes knickers, a copy of US Weekly, and an excellent cooking spoon.

I wasn’t exactly enthusiastic about the prospect of Alice Temperley designing for Target, but was interested enough to check it out, hoping it might be a distilled version of her pretty dresses and intricate knits. What we got instead was a really crappy version of Marc by Marc Jacobs. What was she thinking? I couldn’t perceive any connection between her design ethos and this collection for Target, bar the black crepe dress that is selling well on eBay.

But, whether or not it looked like Temperley, I love me a bargain, so I picked up the long sleeved striped T shirt, a couple of the polka dot chiffon blouses and a black velveteen puff sleeve jacket to try on, as well as the black dress, even though I was getting static shocks from all the artificial fibres. The ribbed T shirt had no Lycra in it, so it felt cheap, the cut of the dress was just bizarre, and the blouses were over-designed. I nearly succumbed to the jacket, but the buttons would have had to be replaced for at least half the initial cost of the piece ($40), and the fabric was so thin that the nap was irretrievably marked from being folded.

In the end, I couldn’t decide whether it was the cut, the flammable fabrics or the iredeemably cheap & nasty buttons on all the blouses, jackets & dresses that stopped me buying anything. And I still want to know which of Target’s regular customers will be investing in the blue crepe plus fours, and elbow length striped nylon fingerless gloves which felt so scratchy once on, I couldn’t pull them off fast enough.