(Photo by StyleBistro/Lindsay Schallon)
Last night, we swung uptown to New York's Hudson hotel to celebrate the launch of JCPenney's latest designer collab, L'Amour Nanette Lepore — a junior's line that, you'd be surprised, is still totally wearable for the over-20 crowd. (Think: Forever 21-type looks.)
After wandering through a maze of cement corridors and traveling to the depths of the hotel basement, we arrived to the scene, above — no, your eyes are not failing you. That is, indeed, a ceiling lined in slinkies!
Next, we made our way into the party room, which had plush couches, old-school arcade games (Super Mario, for the win!), a DJ, and 2-foot-wide rubber band-like neon strips everywhere. And guess who was there, hiding out behind one of the bright magenta, uh, things:
Celebrities! Vanessa Hudgens (with her new haircut) and Shay Mitchell, to be exact, along with Lepore and her daughter Violet — all of whom were decked to the nines in L'Amour duds. The best part about their outfits? Nothing cost more than $50. Hudgens' bright orange blouse was just $17! Not bad, eh?
(Photo by Getty)
After a few snaps and some bites of fashion food — tater tots that came individually served in mini spoons with ketchup! — we caught back up with the designer to get the scoop on the new collection.
StyleBistro: Your collection is so bright! We're obsessed! Tell us, what was your inspiration for the line?
Nanette Lepore: I just like having fun. I wanted to make something that was really fun that my daughter would like and be excited to wear. She likes affordable clothing. Her favorite stores have always been Target, KMart, and now JCPenney. She'll be like, "Let's go shopping at KMart mom!" And all her friends are really excited about it, too.
SB: JCP has completely evolved its business model over the past year. What has it been like working with them?
NL: It's been a really amazing time to partner with JCPenney and become a part of the new wave. It's exciting. And when all the stores get everything launched, it's going to be amazing! There are so many other designers, too. Marchesa, Jonathan Adler, my favorite guy in the world! It's amazing to be on the ground floor.
SB: Junior's clothing is a new move for you. What was that like?
NL: It was really fun to make stuff that's so accessible for this young, really enthusiastic age. The line features some pretty standout clothing, and I know girls are really going to enjoy it. It's for girls who really love fashion.
SB: Did your daughter help you design it at all?
NL: Yes, she works on it with me. Mainly as a chief critic. It's been a really nice bonding moment with her.
SB: We're obsessed with your shoes, are they from the collection, too?
NL: No, I'm wearing Nanette. All the kids are wearing L'Amour. So is Vanessa Hudgens!
SB: Do you have a favorite piece?
NL: I love the striped jeans. I love being able to make so many great T-shirts. They're so much fun. And the moto jacket is amazing!
SB: How would you style the striped jeans for someone who would be maybe a little intimidated to try such a bold trend:
NL: I'd just pair it with a basic T-shirt. That's the thing, it's easy!
SB: And what about styling all those neon pieces?
NL: You feel really good in neon. It makes you feel happy! I'd say to wear it on a day where you feel down. You'll feel better instantly. That's the thing with neon.
SB: It's like an anti-depressant!
NL: It is! I should have thought about that when I was making the campaign for the collection—it's an anti-depressant. I love it.
If you do too, check out the entire collection, which is available for pre-order now, at JCPenney.com. And look out for when L'Amour hits in stores on February 1st! Trust us, it's impossible to miss.