When we think of St. John fashions, we think perhaps of the form-fitting knit power suits worn by former secretaries of state Hillary Clinton and Condeleeza Rice and crusading women’s rights attorney Gloria Allred, along with the polished gowns favored by former first lady Michelle Obama, actress Angelina Jolie and model Christy Teigen. But there’s a new creative director at the brand, and while she’s been tasked with remaining true to the essence of a label that was founded in 1962 by Marie and Robert Gray, it’s clear that she’s putting her own stamp on it as well with her first full St. John collection this fall.
Zoe Turner, who holds a master’s degree from the Royal College of Art in her native London, learned womenswear and knitwear from some of the best — Alberto Ferretti, for whom she worked as a designer; John Galliano, for whom she served as senior designer at Dior; Raf Simons, for whom she served as Dior’s head designer, director of knitwear; and Max Mara Fashion Group, for which she served as freelance consultant.
“I think it’s very important for me to take the legacy of the (St. John) brand and to clean it up a bit,” Turner told WWD last fall. “It’s just got so much beautiful history. I’ve got a background of knitwear as well, so it’s really an important project for me. I really want to remain deeply rooted to the company, and I hope to bring the company into a new era of modern luxury.”
For fall/winter, Turner has swathed the St. John woman in yards of fabric. Sleeves are voluminous. Pants are palazzo in a homage to the trending 1960s and ’70s. Even when a tweedy jacket or a top — in neutrals or abstract tiger stripes — is fitted, pants and skirts fan out from it. It’s as if the designs, dovetailing with the age of the coronavirus, were meant to cocoon us in the most beautiful way possible.
Masks of the moment
With masks a way of life for the foreseeable future, it’s no surprise that fashion brands have gotten into the act. St. John is making luxury care masks as well as nonsurgical face masks and customizable “back to work” masks for bulk purchases to help companies brand their solidarity as they head back to the office.
These sleekly elegant masks come in a variety of fabrics, styles, colors and patterns and retail for $40, $45 and $50. For more, visit st.johnknits.com.