ask a retailer

Jennifer Mankins of Bird Has a Thing for High-Waisted Jeans


From left, Sue Stemp, Grey Ant, Karen Walker.Photos:

Throughout the week, buyers from Bergdorf Goodman, Bird, Intermix, and Jeffrey New York will tell us which runway looks they plan to snatch up for fall. Jennifer Mankins, owner of Brooklyn boutique Bird, files her first picks — she’s favoring Grey Ant, Bruce, Karen Walker, and Sue Stemp so far.

Grey Ant
The seventies disco diva immediately came to mind — these strong, sexy shapes aren’t for wallflowers. Grant Krajecki has been doing high-waisted pants for a few seasons, but they were a real standout this time around. Nobody cuts a leaner or meaner high-waisted, wide-leg jean. I also loved the textured-wool oversize minidresses.

Watch a slideshow of the Grey Ant Collection.

Karen Walker
Channeling superheroine Katherine Hepburn, this show was full of strong shoulders and perfect peacoats. Bold Art Deco inspired prints were modernized with a lightning bolt thrown in here and there. Coats and silk dresses were belted and layered with leggings, tights, and hand-knitted berets and balaclavas. The electric-blue oversize parka and powder-blue peacoat were my favorites.

Watch a slideshow of the Karen Walker collection.

Bruce is back! It’s hard to imagine why this duo ever stopped making their cool, understated clothes in the first place. Beautiful details were everywhere in the hand embroidery, pleated hems, and quilted lace vests. The woodsy brown and black silk printed dresses were feminine and sexy, as was the stunning black cocktail dress that laced up the back. I was thrilled when they closed the show with, yes, high-waisted jeans. I still covet my Bruce pair from the 2001 collection and can’t wait to get the new version.

Watch a slideshow of the Bruce collection.

Sue Stemp
The collection was full of pleated pants, knickers, and beautiful velvet dresses inspired by twenties Parisian graphic artists. Bold silk prints with dropped waists and voluminous sleeves. A tiny goat-hair capelet was cool and chic over a printed minidress, and the angora sparkle knit sweaters and dresses were great. The last piece was the best — a black silk-and-lace minidress.

Watch a slideshow of the Sue Stemp collection.

Jennifer Mankins of Bird Has a Thing for High-Waisted Jeans