Big name or no name? We remain unconvinced that it's always smart for huge heritage brands to call in notable designers whenever sales or image hit the skids. Tinkering with the classics is a fine art--isn't the spotlight supposed to be brought back to the brand, not the designer? With all this in mind, we were pleasantly surprised with the Gap's new fall collection designed by serial house-hopper Patrick Robinson.
Sure, Robinson is a showman, but there are more than a few cool pieces reminiscent of old-school Gap at its best: utilitarian, timeless, and timely. Things we love: An androgynously stylish oversized mac, delicious-looking slouchy waffle knits, simple black stirrups (want 'em!), a plain and perfect khaki-fleece blazer, and a suede anorak that will demand to be worn for the next 20 years. Even the Pierre Hardy-designed shoes have us excited: a simple black leather jodphur (vintage Clergerie?) and a chunky desert boot that works in a sort of oiled brown leather. On the other hand, we could definitely live without the super-trendy stuff like cutesy-grunge dresses and fringed scarves—best to leave those to H&M.