It was a sparse evening at the W Scottsdale last night, where fashion-savvy locals gathered to see Ted Baker London's Spring/Summer collection and get a preview of their fall offerings. We were left disappointed -- though the fashions weren't the problem.
The theme of Ted Baker's upscale casual line seemed to be "funky and wearable." All of the outfits were interesting enough to turn heads, but accessible to the average twenty- or thirty-something buyer. The designers wisely focused on adding unique touches to traditional items: a subtle metallic silver plaid on a men's sportcoat, a bright orange trench paired with hot pink pumps or an unexpected purple floral beneath a classic charcoal suit.
A floor-length version of this butterfly minidress was a hit (despite being polyester, ugh!), as was a chic retro peplum jacket and matching pencil skirt. Both sexes even got a little eye candy courtesy of a pair of models in a tropical print bikini and blue metallic trunks.
Ted Baker does a superb job in crafting menswear looks that are work-appropriate yet suave enough to transition to cocktail hour -- though I question their pairing of a bright red sweater with blue boat shoes.
At least we didn't have to sit through hours of endless unflattering flour sack dresses and science fiction worthy catsuits. Not that it would've been a problem here, considering the show went off faster than my high school boyfriend after a dry hump.
Less than twenty outfits ended up on the runway, making for a quickie that disappointed attendees like Justin and his date Patricia, who was visiting from Seattle. "My expectation for a fashion show is an hour to an hour-and-a-half long," Justin explained. "Don't get me wrong, the fashion was good. But I'd expect to see more."
Is this all Ted Baker has to offer? A Fashion Square employee in attendance confirmed that the runway show was just a drop in Ted Baker's bucket, and theorized that maybe the show was presented just to lure us over to the nearby mall.
Not a bad marketing strategy. The fact a Ted Decker employee in the audience was actually wearing a dress seen on the runway, on the other hand, was a reminder that the designs on display were old news. Summer's almost over, so why exactly were we viewing strapless dresses and swimsuits now?
Despite the late-season fashions and the runway quickie, everyone seemed willing to check out Ted Baker's store and come back to the W for another fashion show. "We love fashion, so we'll try it again," said Patricia. "We'll give it another chance." Therein lies the difference between being too quick on the catwalk and being too fast in the sack.