After two appointments yesterday morning wearing a pair of grey skinny jeans unearthed from my emergency clothes store in my garage in an attempt to find something warm to wear, I couldn’t stand seeing my ham shaped thighs reflected back at me one more time. Desperate for a solution, I ran into Gap – and emerged in the till queue in a royal blue, V neck, quasi-fitted sweater dress. Bang on trend for next season, and supremely flattering to most body shapes, none of the PRs I met during the rest of the day could believe that it was Gap, even given its better reputation over here in London.
It’s no secret that European Gap has a completely separate design team to cater for the more fashion forward UK & French mass market, but it’s not until I popped into the Oxford Street flagship store yesterday for a quick catch up that the difference was really hammered in.
The London stores are filled with loose, wide leg jeans, interesting knitwear pieces, and trend-led dresses and tops. Gap in New York is full of bland, everyday pieces: chinos – including that odd boy fit cut that Claire Danes wears in the US TV ads, jeans, T-shirts, frumpy dresses and fleeces. Gap Body just about passes muster with some pretty nightdresses, but the only remotely interesting fashion offer is the white shirt collection backed by American Vogue from several upcoming US designers including Doo-Ri and Thakoon.
Unfortunately, whilst the designs are intrinsically interesting, and it’s always great to see a multi-national supporting young designers, the shirts themselves are practically unwearable by anyone with breasts or a rounded body shape. Which would account for the fact that every Manhattan branch of Gap has racks & racks of the shirts on sale for $6.99 each.