OLDHAM'S NAVY

Times Staff Writer

WITH new designer collections rolling out monthly at Target from the likes of Hollywould and Proenza Schouler, shopping at its mass market apparel competitor Old Navy was starting to feel a little ho-hum.

Which is probably why Todd Oldham, creative director of Old Navy since October, is launching a series of monthly trend-oriented collections. He's out to prove Old Navy is fast-fashionable too, even if what he is doing is more about clever marketing than groundbreaking design.

The first collection has an "Urban Explorer" theme and is full of spring's safari must-haves, done over for the teen set. Think khaki "safari" rompers ($29.50) and exotic-print belted minidresses ($29.50).

Among the more basic and figure-friendly pieces, a sturdy safari dress comes in red or olive-green ($34.50), and a belted bathing suit with deep V-neck ($29.50) is an unintimidating introduction to the season's major one-piece movement. A wood-accented oversized clutch ($19.50) comes in a variety of prints but looks best in natural canvas.

As for the menswear, well, it doesn't stray far enough from the store's typical casual separates to be interesting.

Oldham's quirkiness is sure to shine through even more with the arrival of March's color-soaked Palm Beach collection, after which surf and tropical themed lines will make their debut.

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erin.weinger@latimes.com

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