While browsing in the West Village, we spotted the above sign in the window of one of the Uptown shopping center’s few vacant storefronts. Lilli London, a new clothing and accessories import from England, is set to open next month.
Never heard of it? There’s a reason for that.
We caught up with Katie Beal of West Village Management on this brand-new store, and it turns out that it’s not only new to us, but new to this side of the Atlantic.
“Lilli London will be a sister brand of the London-based Charli brand,” Beal explained via e-mail late last week. “[The store] will debut in the U.S. with the opening of the West Village location this October.”
Right now, Charli operates three brick and mortar stores in London, but its online commerce site is still in development. The line is also available at retailers throughout Europe, and one in Australia.
We dug a little deeper into the Charli look, and found it walks a fine line between lounge wear and sportswear. Soft jersey tops, some off-the-shoulder or rouched for simple interest, might be paired with deconstructed cardigans and sleek leggings. Often, belts or other adornments are utilized to transform a look from “running errands” to “drinks with friends."
Beal went on to explain that core Charli items such as long camisole vests, palazzo pants, and yoga trousers will always be available at Lilli London, in varying “seasonal color palettes." Additional looks will also be added on a seasonal basis to reflect current trends.
For example, Charli’s fall look book includes four dresses, from a full-length body-skimming sheath paired with a chain-link belt to a draped wrap-style dress with ruffled details. Both are basic black. In fact, the vast majority of items in the collection are solid black, grey or cream.
In our opinion, the idea of convertible clothing has always fared better in theory than in practice (remember Units?). There’s little about jersey and leggings and doesn’t scream “exercise class," especially here in Dallas. This isn’t Los Angeles, where casual chic is the rule. Around here, it is usually the exception.
That said, we’re still interested to see the new store. How will this London brand tweak its new concept to appeal to a Dallas clientele? We’ll find out next month. In the meantime, visit charli.co.uk for more information (the new store’s website, lillilondon.com, is not yet up and running).