Springtime Style Tips From Banana Republic’s Simon Kneen

Springtime Style Tips From Banana Republic’s Simon Kneen
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One of the greatest things about summer style is how incredibly easy it ismost days, you can throw on a light, easy dress and you’re good to go. This season, Banana Republic has you covered in the dress department, since the brand just launched it’s most expansive collection to date. The array of options is impressiveranging from mini to maxi and everywhere in betweenand can take you easily from a black-tie evening event to a daytime beach party.

We chatted with Banana Republic’s creative director, Simon Kneen, who was kind enough to give us his top summertime styling tips, which are super easy to follow. Something that’s not so easy? Deciding which of the 70+ dresses to choose.

I hear you have over 75 dresses this season! Why did you make the collection so extensive?
We kind of tripped upon it. I mean, we were designing so many dresses and somebody said Well why dont we pull them together and see what weve got. And suddenly we realized we really did have a dress for every occasion and for every customer, and I think thats what really got us excited. The thing about our dresses that the customer loves is that they can wear them not just oncethat they can wear them for multiple occasions. And so that dressing up and dressing down, really making sure that every dress can do that.

Do you have any styling tips for the different types of summer dresses you’re showing? For example, if I got one of these maxi dresses that looks a little more evening, how do I dress it down for day?
Yeah absolutely! I mean, for me the long length, fancier dressesflats during the day, even a flip flop if you want, something fun. Throw over a sporty cardigan or even a little denim piece over the top and its going to look super cool during the day.

And what about one of the shorter ones that definitely looks more daytime?
Well here you go, for example the lace one, which is one of my favorites. You can wear that very easily at a summer wedding in the afternoon, dressed up with the satin pumps, jewelry and a clutch. But I can also see it in the boardroom, because youd throw a black cardigan over it, a little black belt, your black pumps. Suddenly youre super serious but still super chic, and the board of directors wont think that youre off to some party. But then take the cardigan off, take off the pumps, put on something glitzy, a little jewelry, and off you go for your dinner date!

Another thing thats great about this collection is that there is a dress for every body type. Do you have any recommendations for which styles fit best for which customer?
I dont think anybody wants a tight fitting dress. We have fitted dresses and we have sheath dresses, but theyre also not meant to be worn super tight. So dont think youre buying something thats going to show every curve, first of all. And then, fluidity. I mean, the long shapes are so fluid. Theyre really forgiving and they on a lot of girls. Dont be afraid of the strapless because weve constructed these dresses to be super safe, with all of the boning, the cupping, the elastic and taping inside, to keep everything where it needs to be. And that actually can look really good on shorter girls as well because with the longer length, youre not interrupted by belts or by anything else. It actually makes you look more like a column. Youll feel much taller than you would think.

What particular pieces do you think everyone should stock up on for spring from Banana Republic besides the dress collection?
I think with all of the florals and all of the prints happening this summer, a printed scarf. You know, if you dont want to invest in the dress or you want to share in the whole trend, a scarf is always a great way to dress up an outfit. With the print, with the color, with the fabric. It also goes on into fall after that because as youre moving into fall, you dont flick a switch and suddenly its fall or winter. So its a nice transitional piece that you can wear later on into the season as well, and I think its a good investment.

Photos courtesy of Banana Republic

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Banana Republic creative director Simon Kneen

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