The term "slouchy perfection" may sound like an oxymoron, but it's that exact design aesthetic that has earned NSF, the brand in this month's Line We Love spotlight, a legion of fans. It's clear that designer and Creative Director Jamie Haller has an understanding of what women want--effortless and versatile clothing, like perfectly worn-in denim and cozy knits, that not only reflect current trends, but can easily be adapted into your everyday wardrobe too--and it shows in her collections, season after season. For fall, Haller's inspiration mash-up consisted of Woodstock influences, traditional South American details, and vintage football jerseys, which translated into an assortment of cold-weather closet essentials. From a belted trench coat, perfect for the workplace and the weekend, to a tile-print blouse that adds instant femininity to any autumnal look, we're coveting every piece from the current collection. Check out some of our favorite items here and don't miss our exclusive Q&A with Haller below.
Clemence Trench ($345, 512.441.8600)
With a structured yet fluid fit, versatile khaki hue, and belted silhouette, the Clemence Trench ticks all of our essential outerwear boxes. Best of all, it's an excellent layering piece: you can throw it over a woolly sweater for crisp fall afternoons or wear it under an oversized coat for those particularly chilly days.
Gabby Cardi ($495)
The peak of chunky knit season begins now, and NSF's cozy cardi version is on the top of our wish list! It obviously suits a casual weekend look, but you can just as easily style it over a slip dress for an unexpectedly chic evening outfit.
Quintin Shirt ($179, 512.441.8600) in Grey Plaid Check
The great thing about this checked button-front shirt is that it will never go out of style, which is probably why we love it so much. You can wear it now with black skinny jeans and Chelsea boots, then come spring, swap in a printed skirt for a fashion-forward outcome.
Beck Straight Slouch Jeans ($295, 617.262.6100) in Huston
If we had to describe the ideal pair of jeans, they would look a lot like the Beck Straight Slouch Jeans. The relaxed boyfriend fit is super comfortable, which is great for errand runs and long shopping trips, plus the faded wash lends them that wonderful, lived-in look we love so much.
Sophia Tile Print Top ($248, 206.621.9571)
We're suckers for a printed blouse, and are especially fond of the Sophia Tile Print Top because its dizzying pattern hits on the big geometric trend for fall. It's fun, feminine, and just the piece to wake up your everyday mix.
Rachel P Coat($496)
You better make some room in your closet for NSF's Rachel P Coat because this is one piece of outerwear you're going to want to have on hand this season. Think of it as the coat equivalent of a blazer, meaning it will pull together your casual pieces in a flash, adding some polish and sophistication to your overall look.--Jessica Baker
Q&A with Jamie Haller, NSF Creative Director
What inspired the start of your design career?
I grew up going to swap meets and flea markets every weekend with my parents, and would often buy and redesign things I found, like jeans and dresses. I knew how to sew as a kid, and would often make my own clothes. I also grew up as a figure skater and designed all my own costumes. It was very thought-out for a 12-year-old. I would come up with designs based on music, color, and theme, and communicate what I wanted to the pattern maker and sewer. These were the roots of my career as a designer.
What was the inspiration behind this season's collection?
There are usually multiple inspirations coming into one collection. The Fall 12 collection was inspired by a trip to Woodstock, hand-knit chunky cabin socks, South American vintage ponchos, and sporty shapes, like vintage football jerseys. I was inspired by the concept of rustic weekends, and the idea of a relaxed modern wardrobe.
How would you style specific pieces from this collection? Do you have a favorite piece in the collection?
We did a lace t-shirt that I love. I like to explore the crossover between casual and dressy. I wanted to take a more sophisticated fabric, like lace, and make it feel casual by styling it in a very accessible shape, like a boyfriend tee.
I also am in love with our wool peacoat. The cut is very smart. It's made in an Italian wool double knit, so it has a traditional look, but with the comfort and feel of a structured knit. It looks very rich, but is soft and comfortable.
NSF offers amazing denim jeans, so I like to design the other pieces in the collection to be very denim-friendly.
What kind of girl do you envision wearing your clothing?
I think our customer wants to look like she has a point of view, but she doesn't want to look like she is trying too hard. NSF is really focused on being wearable and classic, with a West Coast sloppy/sexy/understated/relaxed sensibility. I think our customer is casual with sophisticated taste.
How does your design process for a collection start?
Usually it begins with a cluster of ideas. Sometimes it's a print, sometimes a dye process, or sometimes a wash for a jean inspires a color card. I love to look at yarns for inspiration. I usually have a few shapes I am inspired by. I am pretty loose, I don't have a rigid routine. I am working on Summer 13 now and the whole collection started with a photo from a blog of one girl at a farmer's market. I felt like she really represented the look we connected with, so she became a starting point. Fall 12 started with color, and Spring 13 started with a torn-apart, vintage, ditsy-print housedress I found at a flea market. It's always random, and I just go with it.