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?