The Scene: Isabel Marant raised her public profile quite a bit between her last collection and this one with a sell-out capsule collection for H&M. More eyes than ever were on the designer as she unveiled her Fall 2014 lineup, which made it a bit of a surprise when she varied more than usual from her signature aesthetic.
The Inspiration: "I never have feelings for fancy, frilly things in the winter," Marant said backstage. "I like very comfortable, warm clothes—things you can go around being secure in."
The Look: The biggest departure from Marant's usual look stepped out onto the catwalk right away — a slouchy, wide-leg pant, laced up the side and a little sultry, but also a little masculine. She took on the grunge and military trends as only she could, through the lens of a French "It" girl. Her signature strong shoulders came most notably in the form of furry jackets. Her military looks were uncommonly enchanting due to sculptural tucking and pleating, just this side of her customary all-out ruffles. It seems like maybe she used these conceits of military and 90s grunge to restrain her usual feminine hand a bit. The plaid used for pants and shirts was spot-on My So-Called Life, which is the highest compliment one can give grunge fashion. But she used a modern cut and her trademark cool style to make it clear these weren't hand-me-downs. Per usual, the collection had just enough wearability to make real girls lust for the pieces.
The Accessories: There was some interesting, Norse goddess footwear on this runway. The furry boots looked as if they were strapped on the foot with a length of leather like a Viking, but there were also hip, pointy-toe black boots for the less adventurous.
The Beauty: Makeup Artist Lisa Butler told Style.com that Marant was all about flawless skin, so she used Shu Uemura Depsea Hydrability Intense Moisturizing Concentrate and Bobbi Brown full-coverage foundation to achieve it. "She's undone rather than overdone," said Hairstylist Sam McKnight, calling the look "natural, sexy and French." Natural waves were in keeping with most of the runways this season, but the part was more relaxed than the stick-straight center version we've been seeing.
The Takeaway: The regular Isabel Marant devotee may have been thrown a little curveball with this collection, but it's good to see the designer integrating new ideas into her usual style.