It can be a bit weird to start thinking about winter outfits in August, unless, of course, you live in Canada where, currently, you actually need to be wearing winter outfits to stay warm. Since sweaters and coats are a reality of our summer right now, it makes it easier to look through winter lookbooks with more interest than it would be in the middle of say, 40 degree heat (even though that might be kind of nice right now). So for that, hooray! because Ann Taylor’s Winter 2014 Lookbook is two words: “totes amaze” and has me wishing that I could push a fast-forward button to transport myself to the future of chic fall/winter outfits. (Keep reading to see the full lookbook below!)
The lovely Lisa Axelson! Image via InStyle
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting Ann Taylor’s creative director, Lisa Axelson, during her visit to Toronto. Lisa is a petite and lovely blonde woman who makes it hard to imagine that she is actually the mother of two young twins. When I heard this I looked at her and thought: “Wow, you’re like the real life Kate Hudson in the Ann Taylor campaigns!” It really was exciting to meet the woman behind the brand who truly embodies the Ann Taylor woman — juggling a successful and busy career with her family life. I also loved to find out that instead of residing in Manhattan, Lisa commutes to work from her home in Connecticut. Having a healthy balance between city and country life when I have children is basically my own personal dream.
I asked Lisa for some of her best Wardrobe Words to Live By because you never know when you might be thinking, What Would Lisa Do? Which, let’s face it, is going to be more often than ever before after seeing Ann Taylor’s fabulous Winter 2014 Lookbook below.
GC: What key pieces should young women starting their careers invest in?
LA: A good blazer jacket (not suits!) and good separates that you can play with and mix and match such as skirts, dresses, and good shoes.
GC: What’s your rule of thumb for career dressing?
LA: The shorter the hem, the lower the heel. You don’t want to have “too” of anything; too short, too revealing, too low, etc.
GC: What’s your favourite statement piece?
LA: I love statement coats! (Note: Lisa’s favourite piece from the winter collection is the coat picture in Look 7, below)
GC: What makes an Ann Taylor woman?
LA: The Ann woman is not just attractive but smart, hardworking and dedicated to her family as well.
GC: Aside from Kate Hudson, which other celebrities do you love?
LA: I love Kerry Washington and Keri Russell, they both have great style.
As Lisa walked me through the collection she revealed that as we move into the colder months we can expect to see playfulness within the new Ann Taylor collections in their use of fabrics and technology. Think lots of boiled wool and even neoprene. With a background in working with leather, Lisa never thought she would see the day when she would work with faux leather but is now proud to say she loves working with vegan leather (and its quality!) for Ann Taylor‘s “leather” pieces.
Take a look at what’s to come in Ann Taylor’s new Winter 2014 Lookbook below!