It was worth the month-plus wait post-New York Fashion Week to see Conley Averett’s new collection for Judy Turner. Averett has returned to his knitwear label’s raison d’etre, which is to evoke a person’s glam alter ego. For those unfamiliar, he named the label after the holy grail of megawatt Old Hollywood actors: Lana Turner and Judy Garland.
For pre-fall, Averett leaned into special event-wear, starting with a few intricately spun dresses that slinkily hug the body with strategic peekaboos. Cleverly, he added knit underwear and a bandeau top to the mix for wearing underneath the body-baring pieces.
It’s great to see Averett go back to his maximalist roots. Over the past few seasons, he added simple knit sweaters to his offerings, but that isn’t necessarily where he shines. With the knit category booming, Judy Turner needs to stand out, which is something Averett now understands. “I had made all sorts of commercial sweaters and tried this and that,” he said. “After you’ve been doing it a few years, you want to get more focused on things that drive you.”
The season’s standout pieces have already had some success. Flipping through the lookbook, there was a killer pair of knit leggings, a regal take on the fishnet that is now thicker and more chaotically webbed. Unfortunately, they weren’t present at a preview; someone had already scooped them up to wear to a wedding—a happily-ever-after story for one lucky friend of the brand.