Since she joined the label in 2019, Zoe Turner has reimagined tweed in previously unfathomable ways for St. John. For pre-fall 2022, she unveiled a sporty, equestrian vibe. “I continued to push the multigenerational appeal through unexpected layering of the precious and informal, let’s say,” said Turner. “There’s definitely a spirit of nostalgia, and memories of relatives wearing St. John in American dynasties. It’s also about the precision of tailoring and athleticism. I like to have this sporty, cooler, relaxed attitude mixed in with these sartorial aspects as well.”
It’s certainly a challenge to make a heritage label like St. John, best known for your grandmother’s tweed jackets, appealing to a younger generation. The opening look for pre-fall was a strapless, buttoned tweed bustier dress, immediately followed by a tweed puffer vest paired with a bra top with buttons in the center. However, nostalgia is an effective play, and Turner often hits a nice balance that does make you think of a young woman plucking pieces from her grandmother’s wardrobe and styling them in a modern way. This season’s jodhpur leggings are sophisticated and still youthful, especially the two-tone pair worn with an oversized blazer—very old-money-lounging-around-a-Connecticut-estate. A collared dress with an equestrian-inspired top would also look right at home at an aristo’s country pile.
Some pieces can make you wonder who they’re for (see the blue tweed romper), and others feel so trend-driven as to be anonymous (as is the case with a black leather blazer with strong shoulder pads). By contrast, the quarter-zip sweatshirt in tweed worked well, as the currently popular silhouette fits with the brand’s preppy associations. Two zingy colorways of tweed were inspired by the eclectic color palettes you find on sneakers—one is orange, blue, and white, while the other is raspberry and turquoise, and they mix nicely for a fun yet muted effect.
But enough about tweed. The final look encapsulated Turner’s outlook without using the brand’s signature textile. A white gown with circle sleeves that created both a sculptural and racer-back effect on the neckline felt satisfyingly precious and informal. Layered with a black tuxedo blazer, it was straight-up cool.