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Act Your Age, St. John

Posted by Eric Wilson on

Great article written in 2006

IT is hard to miss the changes at St. John.

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Marc Serota for The New York Times

Arlene Herson, a once loyal customer, at home with her much-loved St. John outfits.

Calvin Klein, will continue to design in the classic spirit of St. John, he said. The reinvention that was heralded by Ms. Jolie, who has input into the looks she wears in St. John ads, will be mostly confined to the ads. On that point Mr. Gardner described his approach as refreshing the line.

Younger readers who happen upon one of these sultry, black-and-white spreads in Vogue, with Ms. Jolie lounging on a black couch in a black knit dress or reclining all in black on a pool chaise or lying in bed in a black lace-trimmed slip — for some reason, Ms. Jolie's version of the St. John woman is mostly expressed horizontally — may be intrigued by the sexy styles. But should they walk into a store, that is a different story.

At Saks Fifth Avenue in Manhattan this week, St. John's prime floor space was devoted to a pale blue tracksuit with rainbow stitching and denim gauchos. A version of the black dress worn by Ms. Jolie was tucked away in a corner.

A more truthful advertisement might show the actress fending off paparazzi in Namibia, where she has been expecting the birth of her child with Brad Pitt, wearing a $525 St. John zip-up jacket with a mosaic pattern in pastel purple, turquoise and yellow.

But where's the fantasy in that?

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