Imagine a world where women do nothing each day except run down to the beach for a jog, or lunch on the terrace after a tussle with their personal masseuse. Women with wildly expensive hair who like to think that their sex lives put ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ to shame, whilst all the while fantasising about the pool boy.
These are the women Zoe Jordan designs for. The daughter of Formula One’s Eddie, Zoe Jordan may have been nominated for the 2012 Vogue Designer Fashion Fund award, but her collections really exist outside of fashion, with only perfunctory pointers to current trends. Her clothes are for women too young for Caroline Charles, yet old enough to remember to get a pre-nup. Weekender fashion for ladies with their divorce lawyer on speed dial. This is why Jordan’s label recently won the Walpole ‘Brand of Tomorrow’ title.
Of course, there’s no shame in becoming a Lifestyle Brand, and Calvin, Donna, Ralph, and Tommy have done very well out of it thank-you-very-much, but five years in and Zoe’s trying to run with the big boys, which can really only end in disappointment.
My disappointment reared its ugly head early on during the sleb-packed catwalk presentation for Jordan’s Spring/Summer 2013 collection. A small, overstuffed venue meant that a clear view of runway was impossible, and I should write a polite disclaimer here stating that I am only ably to review the collection from the waist up. What I saw is easy and breezy, the South Beach Art Deco palette enlivened by fiery oranges and reds, with smatterings of sequins, stripes, graphic prints, and bouclé turning the interest level up a tad. But just a tad. There’s also some metallic leather swiped from Henry Holland two summers ago, and some shoes – which I didn’t see. It’s young, it’s dumb, and it could’ve been designed any time during the last two decades.
That said, Jordan has accrued a healthy celebrity fan base, and is designing for normal women, rather than ciphers, which should be congratulated. I just think normal women deserve more.