If there’s one thing you can count on from a St. John collection designed by Zoe Turner, it’s a curveball. Since joining the house in 2019, Turner has used the house’s signature fabric (tweed) in creative ways—five-pocket trousers, bodysuits, hot pants—to bring it into the apocryphal cool older sister’s closet.
This season, Turner’s twist of choice is a strapless, boned bustier in gray tweed, paired with relaxed cargo pants. The designer explained over Zoom that this is to build,“multigenerational appeal” and the bustiers are “for the more daring.” Though it’s the first look, it hardly sets the tone for the collection, which is inspired by natural florals and is, overall, gentler than a corset suggests. This inspiration is clearest in the jewelry, where the two key pieces are poppy earrings with a backing made to look like the flower’s stem, and delicate dandelion earrings and hair clips adorned with pearls.
St. John customers old and new will find plenty to like about this season. One standout piece is what Turner describes as the “bedspread coat,” a jacquard yellow and gray peacoat with raw edges. It’s a nice midpoint between Turner’s youthful viewpoint and the more traditional house codes. Others in this category include a transparent golden trench coat and Turner’s “new take on the tux,” buttercup yellow and featuring a full-length skirt in lieu of pants. Also for the more daring, a jacket and knee-length skirt with zippers that can expose as much or as little as the wearer desires (though even fully zipped, it still has just enough edge). For evening there’s a lingerie-like dress with a fringe, brass overlay and a transparent black cape dress—a refreshing, light contrast to all the tweed.