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Monday, March 2, 2009

McQ For Target - A Review

After calling various Targets in southern California to see who would be carrying the McQ for Target collaboration, I lucked out when one of the phone operators at the store nearest me had actually heard of Alexander McQueen and clued me in to the fact that the collection had arrived early. As for the rest of the stores, a memo to all the fashion-challenged people in the Women's apparel department might do the trick. (I find it hard to believe that so many people can work for Target and not know who Alexander McQueen is, especially if Target is doing a limited edition line with said designer.) And now on to the McQ for Target review...

Being a Monday morning, the store was unusually peaceful and orderly. It looked like some of the McQ merchandise had been picked through, but save for myself and two other women (one was a stylish young mother and the other was an older UGG-clad woman), nobody else was making a fuss. The studded leather vest, studded denim shorts, and Liela-print tee weren't available in my size, so I sized up for my fitting room photos of those.
Being a fan of details such as mesh, zippers, and studs, I could certainly appreciate the rock and roll-influenced embellishments in this collection. The color palette, which relies heavily upon black and gray as neutrals, contrasted nicely against the cobalt blue and bold pink of some of the other pieces. If you're considering buying the swimsuits, I found that they run really, really small. As for the rest of the collection, I thought it generally ran smaller than the GO International pieces tend to...either that or I've gained weight!

First I tried on the leather vest in a size small. It has an inside zipper and interesting asymmetrical placket with snap closures. I didn't like the sleeves because they were too T-shirt like, but this was still one of my favorite pieces. A leather vest like this lends instant panache to a casual look, and works just as easily over a graphic T-shirt or a minidress. If the price was lower and I didn't already have so many vests, I might have bought this one.


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Up next were the cuffed denim shorts, which I liked because of their back patch pockets and stud details. I admit that these shorts were a pleasant surprise, because I wasn't planning on buying them after seeing the McQ lookbook. Grey denim is such a refreshing alternative to blue, and the color matches a lot of items already in my closet. I'll probably wear them with tights or leggings, as they're a bit short for me. I found these to run small, and as they didn't have my regular size, I went up two sizes.
McQ for Target
Here's the zigzag-print gathered dress in gray, which looked great on the tall, thin model in the lookbook, but did not do anything to flatter my hips. The fit ran small, but the string shoulder strap was too loose. There is a tricky back zip and a tie belt which helps to emphasize the waist. Although I like the asymmetrical/drapey concept, this dress was not for me. Verdict: if you have a lean silhoustte and want to create curves, then this dress will do the trick. It would look great for a night on the town with some chunky bangles, slick hair, and cage heels.

McQ for Target
The Liela-print tee is made of sturdy 100% cotton, fits larger than other pieces in the collection, and will work well with the myriad glossy leggings and skinny jeans I own. The zigzag-print leggings (with ankle zippers), which consist of 96% rayon and 4% spandex, are incredibly comfortable and run a bit small. I'd liked to have seen more printed leggings in this collection, as I'm currently going through a phase where I can't get enough printed leggings.
McQ for Target
Rather than buy the silk zigzag-print tunic, I bought the more affordable and flattering tank top with the same print. It's made of 100% cotton and runs a tad on the large side. I'm wearing an extra small.

McQ for Target
By far the most anticipated and coveted item for me is the black jumpsuit. It comes with an adjustable thin canvas belt, which I replaced with a belt of my own from Zara. It's got two patch pockets on the chest and two on the back. The fiber content is 97% cotton and 3% spandex. The legs are cropped and taper slightly at the ankle. The only problem I have is that the sleeves aren't well cut, and it's hard to have complete mobility of my arms while wearing it. At least I can still reach out to pet the dog...

McQ for Target
My intention with the one-piece swimsuit is to wear it as a bodysuit when the weather warms up. (I've been trying to track down a great bodysuit for weeks now.) I found this piece to run super small, as well as the studded bikini. I bought a medium, but I might even return it for a large.
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The harness dress in black/grey, which is made of 100% rayon, will come in handy for layering over leggings. Like the jumpsuit, it has a thin adjustable belt which can be worn crisscrossed or tied in a knot. Below, I'm wearing it blouson-style with a Jonathan Saunders for Target belt. At $44.99, I found it to be pricey, but when I consider the cost per wear and versatility of this item, I think it will be worth it.
McQ for Target
For more conservative McQueen fans, I think the cropped blazer and trousers are the best bet. They're office-appropriate and chic, and with clever styling, will last beyond this season. The collection's graphic tees and mesh sweaters have a more youthful appeal and are perfectly on-trend for spring, while the leggings and studded gray denim pieces work well for women with casual lifestyles. I was pleased to see more natural fabrics in this line, but I would've liked to have seen more printed dresses that flatter women who aren't as tall as models. In the end, regardless of what criticism people may launch at Alexander McQueen's collaboration with Target, I'm still a big fan and I'm grateful to be able to buy the designer's wares at these prices, even if it's a diffusion line and the fit is less than perfect. Cheers to Target for teaming up with another esteemed designer and offering affordable on-trend apparel to fashion addicts such as myself!

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May not be reproduced in any way without permission from the author.