Catalog Police: Madewell x Sézane Lookbook

Happy Friday! Welcome to Catalog Police, where I review various catalogs and lookbooks to pinpoint the bad, the mediocre and the over-priced.

Today, we will be discussing the Madewell x Sézane collaboration. For the uninitiated, Sézane is a French brand that is famous for its relaxed-basics-with-flair. Many style sites have hailed this collection as the best thing since baguettes and brie. Hold on to your berets, folks — we’ll see if it lives up to the hype.

A T-shirt and a beanie. RIVETING.
A T-shirt and a beanie. RIVETING.

This $125 T-shirt gets 5 points for being all-silk. But it loses 20 points for the infantile Minnie Mouse hairbow print.

Is this supposed to be French?
Jeans and a sweater. So fronch.

So far, this just looks like a J.Crew ad. (Maybe because J.Crew owns Madewell — and that’s the extent of their aesthetic?)

SNEAKERS WITH A SKIRT. So groundbreaking.
SNEAKERS WITH A SKIRT. So groundbreaking.

Remember the opening scene of Working Girl? Melanie Griffith glides toward Battery Park on the Staten Island Ferry, poised to conquer inner-office sexism. Her armor for said battle? Huge sneakers with her skirt suit.

This isn't very Parisian.
Not very Parisian.

Can we just end this trend right now? And while we’re at it, let’s abolish socks and sandals.

Another snooze-fest.
Another snooze-fest.

Replace the words “La Superbe” with “St. Francis Academy” and you’ve got yourself a gym uniform.

Side note: This collaboration was inspired by this insipid slogan sweatshirt, which costs an appalling $85 and is already sold out everywhere. Why in the name of all that is good and holy would you choose this sweatshirt as THE hot-ticket item of the season?

As exciting as an enema.
As exciting as an enema.

Don’t be fooled. This is just a long T-shirt — that costs $188.

Not sure what the model's so excited about.
Not sure what the model’s so excited about.

The sweater and coat are okay — but that skirt looks like a garbage bag fastened by Velcro. (And if I’m paying $450 for a leather skirt, it better not come with a monster wrinkle cob-webbing across my thighs.)

My verdict? These clothes are the wardrobe equivalent of a Klonopin. Worse than normcore — because these boring clothes’ French lineage suggests an other-wordy chicness that simply does not exist in these photos or the designs.

Madewell, here’s a tip: Cut the cord from your corporate parent. J.Crew with a French accent is just J’Crew.

  • knivesliao

    You nailed it! I saw this earlier this week and thought… “eh” an overpriced sweatshirt and ho-hum prints.

    • Diana @ The Style Pragmatist

      So glad others agree! Sometimes I wonder if I’m taking crazy pills — so many seemed to love this collection, and I was really let down. Parisian style is incredibly cool — but this just reminds me that it’s a zeitgeist you can’t manufacture or merchandise. Thank you again.