The connection between October and the American retailer lies in their shared love for simplicity. “I’m such a big fan of the J.Crew heritage and the image they built up in the ’80s and ’90s,” says October. “The campaigns were all about the woman I want to be, the women I think all girls want to be—elegant, but natural; always very chic.” In fact, her love of the brand may have gotten the best of her initially. “When I first started to design the collection; I think I went too deep into the archives; I was too obsessed,” October says, laughing conspiratorially. “And then I realized that this was about Anna October for J.Crew not Anna October making a collection as a designer for J.Crew.” But that obsession informed the collection’s best pieces: a chunky off-white sweater “collaged” from different cable knit patterns and the slip skirt made from different shades of cream and white satin that it’s paired with.
“I grew up on American movies, and I was thinking about Michelle Pfeiffer in the ’90s, and I imagined making something for her. Something cozy, but sexy,” October explains. “I went into the archives and started picking different cable knit textures and putting them together, so it’s like an homage to the classic J.Crew sweater, but in a very Anna October way.” Although the slip skirt fits quite nicely alongside J.Crew’s own offerings of late (its version is called, quite appropriately, the “Gwyneth,” and it’s inescapable), October’s take on it is her own. “The idea came to me when I was thinking about a woman getting undressed, and maybe her lingerie and her stockings are different shades, so it’s sort of a vision of a woman being naked.”