Monday, August 12, 2013

Review: Issa London for Banana Republic collection.

My initial reaction on hearing that Banana Republic and Issa London would be doing a collaboration was YAaayynoooo. I was conflicted. On the one hand, I love Issa London and cannot generally afford her beautiful, flattering, awesome dresses. On the other hand, name me one high/low collaboration that hasn't been disappointing. You can't because there isn't one. (Okay, there might be one but mostly they suck.)

I tried to keep an open mind and when the look book came out I was pleasantly surprised. The patterns were very Issa and the cuts looked pretty flattering and about what I'd expect. My worry was the fabric and fit because nothing beats the beautiful silk jersey and flattering cut of an Issa London creation. So I went. And I tried on. And on. And on. Check it:



The Red Ceramic Printed Dress is the one I was most excited about and, while the pattern was exactly right, the fit was way off. I'm wearing a small in this photo and it's too big under the arms and weirdly poofy around the hips. I don't know if I just got a dud or what (there wasn't an XS or another S to compare it with) but I did order an XS from the website because I'm not quite ready to give up on it.


The next one I tried was the Three Quarter Sleeve Wrap Tie Dress. This is the iconic Kate Middleton dress which I think would look almost costume-y in the blue, so I went for the Merlot. The material was an okay weight but seemed prone to pilling. And, as you can probably see, there is just a LOT of dress going on there. Instead of being slimming it's just...a lot. It was bunchy in the hips and had too much waist wrappage and was lumpy and just no. 


Next I went for the Coral Printed Kimono Dress, which I thought was kind of crazy in a good way. Or, as it turns out, a total Mrs. Roper dress. Oy. It could have but so fun but it was tunic-short and just CRAZY, y'all. I was cracking up. The material is really nice and I think on the right person it might work, but I am not that person.


I soldiered on and tried on this Blue Ceramic Printed Wrap-Tie Dress. This one is probably the most flattering of all the dresses I tried on and the print is beautiful. However, it has this odd seam around the hips that made the dress fall kind of strangely in the back. I don't even know how to explain this. Anyway, a very pretty dress (if a mite conservative) though I don't think it's worth paying full price.


Finally, I tried on the Brown Zebra Printed Drape Dress which was a little hard to photograph. It was a very flattering fit, good material, interesting print. If it had been any color but brown I probably would've been tempted but the color just did nothing for me at all. Womp.

So, there you have it. I was pretty underwhelmed by this collection, though when it gets marked down to 80% off I might be tempted. At full price? Not worth it. And most of them were dry-clean only, which I find annoying. BR has been running some Issa-specific codes so if you want something I'd wait for the next one. Also, 2% back with eBates! (That's my referral link if you want to sign up.)

Did you try on any of the BR/Issa collaboration over the weekend? What did you think?


22 comments:

  1. I am in love with the pattern on that red ceramic print dress.

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  2. I think that first one looks fantastic on you - I got the one you ordered was more comfortable!

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    1. I agree, the first one looks great.
      The kimono one looks like a mammogram robe.

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  3. i tried on the zebra print dress too! LOVED the fit (although i'm a petite and tried on the regular one) but not for $130, haha.

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  4. Ha - MRS. ROPER! That one looks like a robe, something you'd cover your bathing suit with while sauntering out to the pool from your cabana on Fantasy Island.

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  5. Thank you so much for the reviews. Such a bummer on the fit. That always happens with me at Banana Republic. The first four dress you reviewed are great colors with your hair and complexion, plus some of the prints are nice too (except the Kimono crazy dress....looks like a cheesy bathrobe.) Such a bummer because some had great potential.

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  6. Oh I totally love the kimono! I might just have to go try it on.

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  7. Bummer about the dresses, but your hair looks fantastic!

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  8. I love the first dress! Is small your usual size at Banana Republic? Just curious how many sizes you have to go down to get a good fit.

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    1. Small is my usual size and I have no idea if the XS will fit. It may have just been an overall bad fit on the dress?

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  9. I have never, ever found a flattering dress at Banana Republic. The fit is always off somehow. I'm an hourglass and I think Banana Republic tends to design for a straighter figure, but even beyond that, their dresses are just...wonky. It's hard to describe.

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    1. Funny, I have an apple figure with no hips and nothing fits me either! Anything that fits on top is just huge at the hips. I didn't even bother to check out the Issa collection because it looked like the hip fit would be even worse for me.

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    2. I'm pretty straight up and down ... maybe some curve at the hip ... and Banana Republic never EVER fits me right. It's always wonky for me too. And way too short for a tall girl.

      Who DOES BR fit? Inquiring minds want to know!

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  10. Hi
    I'm trying to gauge what the length of the red ceramic dress will be on me. Please could you let me know what height you are, if you don't mind? Also, have you received the XS yet? (That's the size I'm hoping for.)
    BTW, I love the red ceramic on you and the kimono! (I've actually got the coral kimono and think it's amazing.)

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    1. Hi! I'm 5'5 and the ceramic dress was longer on me than the kimono dress, it hit right at the knee. I haven't gotten the XS yet but I'll report back when I do.

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    2. I got the XS and it's too small. The small was definitely the right size but the cut is weird on me. It looks okay in the photo but it was bunchy under the arms and there was too much material in the skirt. Just a bad fit overall. Sadface.

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  11. I love the blue ceramic printed wrap-tie dress...might have to try that one on! Thanks for the review!

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  12. I adore no. one and two. But dry-clean only? What a cod. 80% off sounds like a plan! Oh But how I wish I could buy dresses like no. one and two. :( Stupid country I'm in. It's all sacks that barely cover your arse.

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  13. There is something that I do like about the kimono if it was longer and I just love the second last one. Gorgeous

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  14. Hi,
    Thank you for the review. i just bought the blue ceramic and coral kimono. Blue ceramic runs small in the hips. i am usually a 2p and i'm exchanging it for 4P. For the kimono, I was in between the coral or the zebra print, decided the coral. Might be too shocking for work. What i am undecided about is Dry cleaning. At the store they told me I can do hand wash. I google washing rayon and says it can be hand wash. I am not 100% sure. I got them on sale, which is a good thing but still a little bit pricey if it shrinks.
    BTW, the blue and red ceramic look great on you.

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    1. I think a lot of stuff that claims to be dry-clean-only can be hand washed, but it's always a bit of a risk.

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  15. Thank you for posting this and being so honest! I ordered the first two you showed the day they arrived and was so excited when they came. I kept trying them on to see if maybe they could look good, but it didn't work and I'll be returning them. The wrapping around the waist isn't as flattering as it should be (I think it should go down a little longer?), and that weird circle under the chest killed it for me. It's there on the original Issa dress, but much less obvious. I'm also a small, sometimes an xs, in Banana Republic, and they made me look bigger than I am. It's so unfortunate. They shouldn't have messed this one up. But, again, thank you for your honesty! I keep seeing blog posts of people raving about the dresses and can't help but thinking that many people are just excited to be wearing something related to what Kate wore and are blinded by that.

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