Every issue Caroline A. Wong joins you in the chase for the most coveted designer collections. It’s a team effort. It’s you and me.

Photos by Breanna Powell

Designer collaborations can be so trendy…and not in a good way. They’re flash-in-the-pan one-hit-wonders that disappear faster than California’s water (too soon?). To truly appreciate a designer collaboration, you have to either 1) already adore the designer (going against the principle of the designer introducing their goods to a new/mass market) or 2) deeply fall in love with a particular piece (which is often hindered by the quality compromise that can happen with fast fashion wear and the sometimes-occurring sense that you have a poor shadow of a designer’s original).

Luckily, Thakoon for DesigNation by Kohl’s is an exception. Arguably the most “it-girl friendly” designer to partner with Kohl’s (edgy chic brands like Alexander Wang and Isabel Marant usually go the H&M route), Thakoon has released an homage to London totally in line with the Old Smoke. The inspired silhouettes add freshness to the designer collaboration game, which can get so bland with its slant towards mass appeal. For example, Target collaborations seem a bi blasé and mainstream now. Kohl’s has managed to keep its partnerships fresh and relevant with the fun locale themes, which also help anchor the lines. Thakoon’s nod to London is cheeky and playful yet the inspiration is clear and practical. It’s what every designer collaboration should be.

Take the heavy wool vest…the length is modern and the vest style makes the piece something versatile that will last beyond the oft short-lived designer collaboration timeframe. It’s the ultimate layering piece great for a range of climates and seasons. Wear it with a lightweight dress in the fall and spring, or belt it over a long-sleeved piece…even over a coat for extra warmth! The pattern also encourages you to mix prints…if you feel the mix is too bold, simply remove the vest.