Leanne Marshall–we all grew to love her on Project Runway, but will she make it in the world of ready to wear? We have compiled two expert opinions on her Bluefly line from our Trendsetter The Anti Pop, and Shop It To Me’s very own Tamra. You have the pleasure of reading frequent posts from Tamra, but don’t forget to check out The Anti Pop’s blog for more of writer Nicky-Ann’s witty take on the fashion industry.
Leanne’s Line Doesn’t Cut It – Nicky-Ann**: You may remember Leanne Marshall as the nerdy winner of Bravo’s fashion hit show Project Runway (Season 5). The California native flexed her fashion geek muscles with the release of her collection on Bluefly earlier this month. I expected a lot from the designer, and was excited to see what chic eco-friendly creations she’d produce. While she does not disappoint with her signature pleats and draping, Leanne’s pieces are overpriced, unoriginal, and uninspiring.
My favorite casual dresses are the fuschia Cora swing ($248) and the coral Victrine bubble dress ($275). Super cute and ready-to-wear, these dresses are transformable from day to night, but not worth the wallet damage.
The formal Elanna royal blue strapless gown is pretty, but underwhelming and cliched. Not notable traits for a garment that retails at $990!
The rest of the pieces are casual tops and skirts done with the same monotonous pleated pattern. I am all for girly frill, but Leanne takes things overboard, incorporating the look into almost every piece. I like the Jasmine cropped jacket a lot but doubt I’d be willing to pay a whopping $220 for it. The Lana ruffle skirt ($168) is reminiscent of the first day of school wear for a grade schooler – cute, but not sexy and lacks contemporary fun.
All in all, Leanne is a let down. For more bang for your buck, I’d peruse more established designers on Bluefly (Free People, Alice & Olivia, T-Bags just to name a few). Marshall delivers mediocre cuts that we’ve seen before at prices we’d rather not see right now (recession, anyone?). We’ll continue to look out for better options the next time around. She’s young – she’s got time to prove herself to us. Till then, Leanne: you’re out. Auf Wiedersehen.
Leanne’s Line Delivers – Tamra**:** On last season’s Project Runway, Leanne Marshall was one of my favorite contestants, due to her draped and feminine style, and also her calm and “nice girl” personality. A hard gal not to like! So when her line hit Bluefly last week, I was so excited to check out her pieces!
From the runway to website offering, Leanne delivered a consistent style aesthetic, and produced items that felt very ‘her’. I was impressed at this young designer’s ability to have a signature style and stick with it! And, I was delighted to see a few pieces that were BOTH wallet-friendly and wearable.
Too often it seems that the Project Runway designers feel the need to create something so ‘out-there’ it’s hard to imagine an everyday woman pulling it off (perfect example is Christian Siriano who made beautiful and unique pieces, but I can’t imagine a single friend wearing them!). Leanne, on the other hand, provided a few options that I could imagine many women picking up and feeling great in.
My two favorite tops are above – basic yet stylish, with a fun feminine flirtiness. It’s gotta be tough as a designer to come up with unique pieces that reflect your personal style, and can be produced in fabrics that aren’t overly prohibitive to the fashion-loving gal on a budget. And she hit it spot on with these two shirts – kudos!
Now that you’ve read two sides of the debate, and seen some photos of the line, we want to know, what do you think of Leanne Marshall’s line for Bluefly?