Catalog Police: Zara’s Latest Lookbook


Zara has been on a hot streak lately. After several uninspiring years churning out polyester blouses in varying shades of neon, the Spanish fast fashion giant has pared down its designs and embraced the sleek minimalism currently ruling the runway.

Zara has never showcased its manufacturing prowess when trends veer toward loud designs, like lace or too-elaborate patterns. When there are lots of details, it’s too easy to see the shortcomings in the garment’s construction.

Because Zara’s focus is cheap, fast fashion, it does much better when it relies on sharper silhouettes and singular colors. Minimalism has been a boon for Zara, and the company’s been able to churn out fantastic dupes of Jil Sander, Celine and Hermes collections.

But while most of the clothes are lovely, the lookbooks still leave me cold. Here’s my take on Zara’s latest lookbook.

Yes. This outfit is truly LOL-worthy.


Is that a racing stripe I smell? I’m sorry, but this is just a J.Lo tracksuit with a blazer instead of a hoodie.

“My shoes are the most fascinating part about me.”


I understand that nonchalance is “in” this season, but greasy hair is neither appealing not particularly photogenic. (Side note: I can enjoy a 90s reference, but I really wish marketers would pivot away from the waif archetype and go back to supermodel.)

Don’t look too excited.


Yawn. A boring black skater dress covered in glitter dandruff. But I’ll give points for the glitter boots — which are an exact copy of Saint Laurent’s and a tenth of the price.

A caftan even Elizabeth Taylor wouldn’t touch.


My biggest pet peeve is when retailers use “creative license” as a means to completely hide their clothes’ shortcomings. This transparent caftan is completely unwearable in real life. Even with a bathing suit, it would look cheap and ostentatious. (Beware of ANY catalog that shows its clothes in black and white. It looks “creative,” but in actuality, it merely masks the fact that showing this much skin, even if you weigh 100 pounds, is just ghastly.)

Is there no couch in this apartment?


One trend I wish Zara would ditch? The incessant Instagam-ish whitewash glossing every photo. This isn’t a Janis Joplin album cover — it’s just a catalog. Meanwhile, the backgrounds are as sterile as an IKEA catalog.

PS: I hate to shatter this slumber party fantasy — but women don’t use their friends as couches.

  • Rhiannon

    I would fire that photo editor. The contrast in these photos (especially the human couch photo) is awful.

    • Diana @ The Style Pragmatist

      I couldn’t agree more. Everything has a blue tone, like it’s a Steven Soderbergh scene in Traffic.