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With all the focus on Forever 21 and H&M, fellow mall mainstay Charlotte Russe tends to get lost in the mix. So it makes sense that they would team up with Eric Daman, the celeb stylist behind Gossip Girl's much-discussed fashion (not to mention Blake Lively's consistently boobtastic ensembles) on a line of dresses. We caught up with Daman when he stopped by Charlotte Russe in Herald Square to launch his second Eric Daman for Charlotte Russe dress collection.
"This collection is what I call the Sweetheart Collection," the impeccably-dressed stylist tells us. "It's kind of inspired by Valentine's Day. It should that moment of finding your Valentine's day dress, your sweetheart dress and you know, feeling pretty and I wanted to be more sophisticated. I think a lot of clothing that we see in chain stores can get a little too sexy for its own good for Valentine's Day. I wanted it to be a little more sophisticated and girls will have a lot of fun with like sparkles and prints and there's sexy lace overlays and stuff, but also I wanted to kind of have a bit of sophistication to it."
Uh, Taylor, we're looking at you right now. Speaking of, we set aside the facts that 1) Gossip Girl isn't real and 2) if it were, those ladies would not be shopping at the mall, and asked Eric which GG characters he could picture rocking the Charlotte Russe frocks.
"I feel like Jenny Humphrey could definitely wear the lace overlay with the rosettes," Eric said while pointing at the solid black party frock. "I think Blair Waldorf could definitely waltz away in the polka dot party number." The strapless polka dot dress with the bubble skirt was really cute, especially for under $50.
Since he mentioned Blair, is Eric willing to give any insight into this recent dalliance between Dan and Blair (Dair? Blan? The apocalypse?). "I caaaan't answer that question," he laughed. "I'm not allowed?ehhhh...I have a lot of thoughts on that, but I'm not allowed to share."
Is he willing to give us his thoughts on Kelly Osborne replacing Taylor Momsen as the face of Madonna's Material Girl for Macy's then?
"I feel like Taylor was a great launch for them and Taylor got them the press that they needed and she was the perfect launch face. I feel like it's going to be a changing muse every season for it and I think that's smart," Eric diplomatically says. "I think that is a great moment of Madonna meets Taylor because Taylor, for me, is kind of like when Madonna first started and was out wearing bralettes and everyone's like, 'Oh, Madonna's wearing half-shirts and it's terrible' and I think Taylor embodied that for a modern girl."
Eric pointed out that this isn't a Gossip Girl collection (even if we can't help but continuously ask him about the show). So, if Blair's prim uptown chic or Serena's sexy but slightly skanky style isn't Eric's inspiration, then what is? "New York City is my muse. Everything I see is so great I try and to walk everywhere I can. You see so many great looking people and everyone's always dressed to the nines. You can walk through Tompkins Square Park or come up here and you just see so many different looks on so many different people. Plus all the art and the culture and the architecture—just everywhere you look its something inspiring."
The Eric Daman for Charlotte Russe dresses, all priced under $50 each, officially launch today, but only a couple of the styles (the 80's-inspired long-sleeve floral dress and the hot-pink bandage one) are in the stores at right now. The rest of the looks (including the aforementioned Jenny and Blair) will roll out shortly.
P.S. Charlotte Russe is running a Twitter contest to win a $150 gift card for the person who tweets the #CRgossip hashtag the most by Monday, January 31st.
XOXO — Racked NY
· Charlotte Russe [Official Site]