Is a new British invasion afoot? The Beatles are on iTunes, a royal wedding is imminent, and the Union Jack is cropping up on designs everywhere, from home goods to ready-to-wear. Amid the fever, the UK fashion house L.K. Bennett is set to open its first stateside standalone store in the 900 North Michigan Shops this spring.
Although the brand is not well known in the United States, it has set a standard across the pond with its tailored and modern women’s clothing, shoes, and accessories. Princess-to-be Kate Middleton, who has been both applauded and criticized for her sensible, accessible style, is often seen wearing L.K. Bennett’s basics-with-a-twist. The name comes from the founding designer, Linda K. Bennett, the so-called queen of the kitten heel, whose signature shoe became a favorite among British celebs.
The architectural and sleek footwear ($250 to $380) runs the gamut from heels to sandals and boots. Women’s wear is distinctive, too, for its emphasis on tailoring and luxe fabrics, such as satins, silks, and jerseys, that can all be dressed up or down. New for spring: a graphic-print dress in silk dupioni ($345) and a black sleeveless dress with flattering accordion pleats down the front (both $375), a leopard-print sheer georgette silk blouse with a built-in camisole ($220), and a soft jersey top with a silk cowl neck ($135). Accessories include scarves, jewelry, belts, and practical, stylish bags ($275 to $495), such as the versatile Anna. “With an ever-increasing demand for the brand from Americans shopping in London, it seems an obvious step to bring L.K. Bennett to cosmopolitan Chicago,’’ says Robert Bensoussan, executive chairman of L.K. Bennett. With the brand’s arrival—coupled with a new Ted Baker London on Rush Street and a Topshop slated to open on Michigan Avenue later this year—Anglophiles should have plenty of retail options.
GO 900 N. Michigan Ave., lkbennett.com
Finds Architectural shoes, tailored women’s wear, and practical handbags, including the Anna (pictured above, $460 to $550)
Photograph: Courtesy of vendor