It's no secret that Target's Go International collections can be a bit hit or miss, but I always find at least one or two pieces to love in each release. I adored Erin Fetherston's baby doll dresses and jumpers, but her twill trousers completely lost their shape after one wash. The dresses from the second Private Collection incorporated interesting fabrics, colors and shapes, but the narrow cut through the shoulders made them almost unwearable, no matter the size. Jovovich-Hawk's line included the designers' signature floral prints and flirty summer dresses, but some of their pieces were so ruffly that the effect was an unintentional homage to Harajuku Lolita girls. Though the new Go International collection from British wunderkind Jonathan Saunders has its share of highs and lows, it's demonstrative of the American discount giant's forward-thinking marketing of up-and-coming designers.
Although Saunders incorporates some of his innovative prints and beautiful slim cuts, the collection is not exactly mass market friendly. The design aesthetic is perhaps the most esoteric of all the Target capsule collections. Good news for those who regularly peruse online slides of the ready-to-wear shows, but perhaps not the most exciting prospect for the average Target customer. Additionally, the slim cuts aren't universally flattering. My figure is on the boyish side and I had good luck with the blouses and dresses. However, my considerably bustier girlfriend actually popped off a button as she tried to fasten up one of the shirts in the dressing room. We agreed that the collection is great for size 4s and under, but anyone with even the hint of curves will probably struggle to find a piece that suits them.
Despite the fit problems, the color palette and prints are outstanding. Fans of Piet Mondrian will be delighted at Saunders' use of color blocking, while Klimt fans will be drawn to the kaleidoscope and marble prints. I picked up the marble print paneled shirtdress, though I've replaced the patent leather yellow skinny belt with the collection's thicker reversible yellow/red belt. I also fell in love with this black and white geometric windowpane print dress. It has a great narrow fit (and pockets!), but it's definitely on the short side. Will probably be wearing tights with this one. I was also coveting this olive green kaleidoscope tee, which is emblematic of Saunders' unique ability as a colorist. Sadly, the tees suffer from a common problem among mass-produced printed items. The print is plastic and stiff, so the comfort and fit of the soft jersey tee are hindered by what feels like a sheet of laminate across the entire front. Additionally, the tee is long enough that it hits across the widest part of the hips. I love a long tee, but anything that pulls across the hips is going to have the potential to be unflattering.
Despite its flaws, the ambition of this collection left me wanting more. Luckily, another Private Collection will be released shortly, followed by the much awaited release of the Thakoon collection on December 25th. The only thing that could make Christmas Day even happier is if Target confirms the rumors that Alexander McQueen will be designing a Go International Collection. Hope Santa's reading this.