Thursday, 7 April 2011

The re-launch of Chelsea Girl at River Island


A few months ago, I wrote a post about the recent changes in River Island’s ‘direction’ – a move from nasty diamanté-embellished denim, to some much more retro inspired garments that seemed to reference the brand’s earlier 60s/70s incarnation which went under the name of ‘Chelsea Girl’. Well, it seems as though the literal revival of their older self was already in the pipeline, as they recently re-launched the name with a collection of mid-century style garments.

So as a lover of all things retro, you can imagine my excitement when I noticed the ‘Chelsea Girl’ logo appear on their website. But after looking through the clothes on offer, I felt a little let down – it felt like the disappointing re-launch of Biba all over again, albeit a slightly more affordable version. Sadly, some of the clothing seems like it was designed for the mainstream store and then put into the re-launch to ‘pad out’ the collection, whilst other items focus too much on the name without thinking about the styling.

However, there were some particularly ‘of the era’ designs that caught my eye. The current collection seems to be focussing mainly on the 1970s revival, meaning denim flares, ‘gypsy’ blouses and flowing dresses – and a fabulous pair of suede hotpants. I can see some of these pieces fitting seamlessly into my current wardrobe, adding a relaxed bohemian vibe in the process.



All photos (except photo of website) taken from telegraph.co.uk

I think I was just disappointed because I expected an immaculate re-make of my favourite era, forgetting high street stores need to maintain a balance of the old and the new. Although some of these pieces do reflect that ‘carefree’ 1970s spirit, I’d rather have the originals – so I think I will be sticking to vintage shops from now on!

What do you think of their new range? Would you rather own the vintage versions?

Sadie xxx

15 comments:

Vicky said...

I've never really been a fan of River Island myself, but was a little excited about the whole 'Chelsea Girl' revival. But like you, I'm really disappointed with it all. I'll definitely be sticking with the vintage equivalents x

Nicola said...

I'm not really a 70s girl myself so I'm not excited about the Chelsea Girl range, but I have to say that in general River Island has been getting a whole lot better lately. I've gone in there recently and actually seen things that I like, which is a massive change from a couple of years ago.

E is for Eleanor said...

I love the 70's, it's not my favourite decade but the music and culture was fantastic. I was really really excited about this launch and am pretty gutted to be honest. They've gone for the 90's revival of 70's fashion. It doen't look authentic, it just looks cheap :(

Julia said...

love, love, love!! I adore the 70s, too and I can't wait to have a browse in there... but I would prefer to go to Biba....! :)

katieafox said...

Ahh yes I remember reading that post Sadie and whole-heartedly agree on the typical River Island tat sentiment. I got excited when I read they were doing the Chelsea girl stuff, though it doesn't look that exciting! I love the multi-coloured suede (?) skirt you picked out though x

marta said...

I can't imagine myself wearing 70's clothes, but it could be interesting to try some of those you've shown (all of them are amazing!) :)

Marta,xxx

http://themeaningoffashion.blogspot.com/

Eva said...

I've never really shopped in River Island, except from rarely finding something in their sales...it's really not my kind of style. But I have noticed the change, and I go in more for a peek but there's still not much catching my eye (but that smock you posted about it a lovely exception!)...I'll be sticking with my usual shops I think!

polkadotsandpinafores.blogspot.com x

Serendipitychild said...

I can't quite get into the 70's styles in the shops at the moment.
I love your hair BTW! I may be taking a picture of your head to the hair dressers!

Sarah said...

I'm pretty disappointed with it too!! Could have done a lot better! But definitely agree that RI are getting better, slowly!

amy said...

I agree with you. Although, some items will be splendid. I adore the 60's-70's.. I would have much preferred them to really "knock it out" as in, crazy floral, big big big wide leg bottoms, just as the original era.. They could have done better, although I'm still compulsive.. and want to buy..


x

sugar plum kisses~
amy x
www.amyflyingakite.com

FALCO VERONICA said...

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thanks:-)
VERONICA
http://lifegivemefashion.blogspot.com

Polly Farthing said...

I can't believe this is River Island! I'm not as up to date now I live in LA. Loving your posts pretty girl. Polly xxx

Anonymous said...

Just been in to River Island to have a look at the new Chelsea Girl collection and have to say that I am really impressed. The prints are amazing and the blouse and smock you featured are both really beautiful. Fair play to River Island for being bang on trend with this. As you say...it would be nice if it was authentic - but thats a bit like re-inventing the stone -fashion moves on

Ali said...

I got so excited about the Chelsea Girl collection and I don't even live in england! I agree though about a lot of them being too branded with the name. I kind of like that colour blocked suede-y skirt and I think there were some long-sleeved printed dresses I liked. but I probably won't be scouring ebay to get them.

The Sartorialice said...

I agree with you- although it IS a step in the right direction, the clothes are a bit of a let down in terms on what is on offer. It is an interesting new avenue for River Island to go (back) down, but Topshop seem to rain supreme at the moment on the full on 70s front. xx