a sartorial farewell to 2017.

the year started off with a feeling of closet burnout, which inspired a solid month of trying on every garment that i owned and taking a photo of it. from there, i documented a week of outfits every month, which has left my phone with an embarrassing amount of outfit selfies on it. it does, however, allow me to really look back on the year and what i wore. yes, i have regrets, some relating to the way my hips look in tight pants, some over things i chose to part with in closet clean outs, but mostly i just love outfits.

this year i worked hard on my goal of having my wardrobe entirely populated by suspender skirts/jumpers/pinafores. it’s really the one item of clothing that i am in love with no matter what era it hails from. i can appreciate a 1940’s nursing pinafore as much as an 80’s power shoulder strap one. i equally adore a matronly laura ashley plaid jumper and a sassy 90’s grunge plaid jumper from the mall. i find a modern day urban outfitters pinafore about as irresistible as one from comme des garcons. i just can’t get enough.

all of these pictures display a few basic truths about my sartorial self: jeans are no friend of mine, plaid and pinafore are my king and queen, and the shoes really do make the man.

the end.

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farewell my queen.

Word came down the wire yesterday that Phoebe Philo has left Celine. What astounds me about Philo is her ability to plant an idea into the sub-conscious of culture, her designs don’t just shoot down to fast fashion as hot trends but rather send a ripple that alters the landscape. Take for example the fury slides and heels that Philo showed for Spring 2013, versions of both (seen here and here) are currently being offered at every fast fashion shop out there. Nearly 5 years after their debut. There are countless examples of this, but they go undetected, because Philo has the ability to change the way that women want to dress without them even knowing it. Her influence on her contemporaries as well as those who follow fashion is unparalleled, but the wonder of this is that it all happens with very little fanfare.

Philo single handedly ushered in the “age of minimalism” with her debut collection for Celine, for resort 2010 (which wasn’t even a runway collection). She was the first to expand on ideas over multiple seasons, to bring back designs and re-work them which tapped into the psychology of women everywhere who often buy the same thing repeatedly because it feels good to wear that thing. This translates to day-to-evening wear and capsule or uniform wardrobes, both huge in the post-2008 economic meltdown era. She gave us the arty, high flash in nature, unknown and often model-free ad campaigns (shot by Juergen Teller) which set the new standard for fashion photography. She gave us Birkenstocks and giant floppy shirt cuffs, camel coats with exaggerated, rounded shoulders, fashion vans & stan smiths, monochrome dressing, optic white boots and ballerina heels- trends that don’t just dissolve like cotton candy but seem to last, become part of the collective and fixtures in our closets.

For me, Philo’s tenure at Celine so represents my generation of women, Philo’s generation: Generation X. Women who grew up in the age of art pop and post-punk and third-wave feminism. Women who grew up in an analog world and watched as it went digital. Women that grew up watching films and reading books and magazine articles instead of Youtube videos, Facebook posts and Tweets. Women who frequented art galleries and book stores, women that want a tactile experience. Women who can appreciate technological advances but who know the value of having the space and presence to connect, and to use your imagination. Women who carved out careers and built families. Women who appreciate the freedom of not being observed and value solitude. Philo herself is famously private, rarely giving interviews, and has no online presence. She has a rather British sense of modesty and no bull shit attitude that translates to incredibly intelligent collections.

We are certainly in a new era: globally; politically; economically; and in the fashion world as well. If Philo’s debut with Celine declared the era of minimalism, Alessandro Michele’s debut with Gucci declared the era of maximalism. Certainly Demna Gvasalia and the indie designer movement have shaken the industry, turned it on its head. Instagram is now the top engagement platform for designers. Celine has not had a social media presence or even been offered online until very recently. Philo’s departure on the heels of this seems timely. The last few Celine collections have felt, to me, like a passing of the baton in some way. Little nods to the new guard seemed to say, “go on ahead without me.”

Philo’s departure has been rumored for a while, comments she’s made about wanting to disappear with her family have made people wonder if she might bow out of fashion entirely. She has a history of long absences, but there is already talk of where she may go next (possibly Burberry). For now, all we have are our memories and dreams and of course, the clothes.

 

a week of outfits.

another month down and i’m having trouble letting september go and with it, another summer. fashion month is happening as we speak and is it just me or is there generally a lack of enthusiasm out there? scrolling through street style photographs used to inspire me but this time around i felt like the fashion girls should have just worn sandwich boards advertising for zara and h&m. there is also, of course, the loom of the land and the constant drama surrounding our nation’s capitol weighing on everything. to my surprise the bright spots were to be found in the collections: in maryam nassir zadeh’s muted neon citrus pastel pallet and raf simons for calvin klein’s warhol cowboys and 50’s rubber couture silhouettes, in brock collection’s little house micro-florals and delpozo’s enormous raffia hair bows, and attico’s opulent casual glamour. in rejina pyo’s sartorial wit and a.w.a.k.e.’s surrealist army. these were the moments that brought me pangs of joy and inspiration, so perhaps the flood of advertising dollars into street style and the overwhelming awfulness of the news was what it finally took for me to dive back into the collections and find gold there. personally nostalgia seems to be ruling my outfit choices, i’m preferring to lose myself in decades past which is oddly comforting, in the parlance of our times.

september covet.

september covet.
september is my favorite month. i feel like it’s the best of both worlds, because you get the last days of summer, where you try to enjoy every minute of hotness while it lasts, and the first little glimpses of fall. but the romantic fall: the crisp light and the slight chill in the air and the first little bins of baby pumpkins at the grocery store without the crappy weather and sugar overload/bloat of the tail end of fall. i’m feeling a little excited about being able to wear long sleeves and of course boots again, and i’m going to do my best to really soak in the september-y goodness this year. here’s my list for the month.
  1. did you hear that american apparel is back? gen xers rejoice!
  2. i’m feeling like i NEED a vintage missoni paneled skirt to be complete. as a woman.
  3. cannot wait for sweatshirt weather to come back.
  4. bruce springsteen’s the river is kinda the ultimate september record to me. perfect for hot indian summer afternoons and those lonesome dark nights where fall creeps in with a coolness.
  5. tough to put into words how excited i am for the release of patti smith’s new book this month.
  6. really feeling like a berry lip and cheek stain is in order for pre-fall. fat and the moon things are all good things.
  7. little retro jelly bags make my inner 80’s pre-teen do a little tiffany heel-slide dance.
  8. i am really a fan of credit card holders vs wallets because they fit into pockets when i want to free-ball it and not carry a bag. this silver ysl one gave me actual butterflies in my actual stomach when i saw it. but holy $$.
  9. oh man i want this silk sailor top from l’ecole des des femmes which is cute as shit man! also 40% off!
  10. speaking of my inner 80’s pre-teen, i want studded jeans and studded shoes in my life again. it’s time, you guys. let’s bedazzle the feck out of everything.
  11. also glitter socks.
  12. i have been internet stalking this pair of celine boots for months. i keep trying to find a way that my eyes don’t see them as utter boot perfection but alas! still perfect to my eyes.
  13. i am so sick of the frankie shop and all of their cool ass shit which is really not affordable and yet ALWAYS sold out even though they keep lying to us all and saying “back in stock” which i think is just a marketing ploy to make me want everything more. especially this ivory linen dress with phantom neck buttons which i want THE MOST.

the end.

the return.

as i was scrolling through the online fashion rags today i saw an article about former ysl designer stefano pilati starting a new label, and i felt a rush of excitement that is sort of exclusive to stefano pilati for me. his run of collections for ysl were some of my personal favorites, collections that made such major impressions on me. when pilati left ysl i remember being super bummed, and feeling even more bummed as pilati seemed to focus on menswear and then move to italian label agnona instead of jumping to another giant fashion house. after his departure from agnona in 2016, he seemed to disappear.

the reasons that i love stefano pilati are many. stefano pilati is a master at proportion play, pairing slim capri pants with cocoon coats and bodysuits with blazers. pilati was known for his dark collections, and he did a lot of monochrome black, white & gray, but his use of color always surprised the shit out of me. he would pair colors that are typically considered clashing like canary yellow and gold or orange & black and make them look completely natural, as if they belong together. he had a way of using tones to make colors blend together naturally, an almost lavender would flow into a melon gold and taffy pink with such ease. he also made me feel like something as basic as navy blue can be the most gorgeous color in the world.

i often look back at his collections from his time at ysl and marvel at how those collections (from 7+ years ago), with their voluminous sleeves and intricate ruffles, could be from present day. it’s amazing to think that way back in 2009, the age of marc jacobs maximalism and alexander mcqueen/comme des garcons/margiela futuristic fantasticism, stefano pilati was talking about “a natural and honest chic, an aesthetic paradigm of new minimalism.” pilati has always been an innovator, interested in moving fashion forward. his first collection with agnona in 2013 was presented in a pop up shop where the collection was for sale, years before see-now-buy-now hit the runways. pilati always seemed to struggle with the structure of ysl, such a machine for churning out collections with the loom of its great namesake hanging overhead. with agnona he tried to separate menswear from the couture line, but his last collections saw a blending of menswear and couture, using many of the same fabrics from the menswear collection and calling his last couture collection “a fantasy about identity.”

his newest venture was revealed over instagram stories (17 looks were posted, all of which disappeared after 24 hours), a collection of “genderless and seasonless” pieces, all black, to be released some time in the near future. what the structure of the label will look like isn’t known yet, but pilati said that he is exploring instagram as a platform, and added that “the relationship between price and value will be exceptional.” perhaps this post-vetements world, where the rules are being thrown out, is just the place for stefano pilati to make his voice heard.

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re-creating 4 looks from the fall 2017 collections.

re-creating 4 looks from the fall 2017 collections.i’m sure there’s a logical explanation for it, but the past few days have felt incredibly rough. i’ve been experiencing a really strange sort of energy directed at me from what feels like everywhere that can only be described as aggressive. i can’t even say for sure that it’s trump related, but tensions seem to be high right now. i feel like hiding under an actual rock until it passes (it’s going to pass, right?). and so, instead of focusing on all of the hate surrounding me, i thought i’d spend my energy focusing on something that i love: outfits. specifically putting together outfits inspired by what was on the runway for fall.
  1. there were two sky blue monochrome ensembles that really had me, the first was at roksanda: a pretty long dress over trousers with cool matching boots, and the second was at celine: another long shirt dress over trousers. here is a way gorgeous sky blue dress by n-duo (on sale for $269), and matching flowy sky blue n-duo trousers (on sale for $140). my favorite sky blue boots come from vetements ($1007), but if the heel (& the price) is a little steep, here are some cool vayarta flats ($195) . if you’re going the celine route, here is an h&m satin shirt dress ($49) and these vintage dkny trousers look right ($83).
  2. next is the amazing raf simons for calvin klein, who showed a brilliant combination of blazers with detached knit sleeves over them in bright colors paired with knit pencil skirts. here is a similar dark gray check blazer ($65), some bright yellow legwarmers to wear over the sleeves ($2.65), and a red knit pencil skirt ($40). because there is no re-creating the amazing plastic & leather heels that were shown, here are some cool vintage clear plastic shoes ($65).
  3. next is the look from nina ricci that made me swoon with it’s creamy beauty: a white lace bodysuit ($34), paper bag waist pants ($70), a light beige skinny belt worn around the high waist ($5.99), and beautiful cream high heeled boots ($265).
  4. last is the canadian tuxedo shown at more collections than i can count, but notably at calvin klein and dior. here is a cool vintage levi’s jacket ($50) and a vintage pair of rockabilly levis ($50), or some cool emilia wickstead jeans ($570).

the end.

the roundup- fall 2017 edition.

well my darlings, fashion month is done. i started with a certain amount of meh-y-ness. most days the collections and even the street style had me like “meh” peppered in with the occasional “oh shit” moment and then back to meh-ing it out. in the middle of milan, after finding myself whole heartedly wowing at fendi and shrugging indifferently through dolce/prada and some usual fave young designers, i decided to take a deep breath and make “let the collections take you where they will” be my mantra. once it hit paris, i felt a serious shift. shit got real, as they say. this season my favorite collections were by new/young designers (maticevski, vejas, alessandra rich, loewe, j.js lee, natasha zinko, ashley williams), ones that i haven’t typically loved (fendi, christopher kane, & my new favorite nina ricci), and what felt like comebacks from a few old faves (dries van noten, norma kamali, and the amazing raf simons for calvin klein). i was surprised to find myself less than inspired by my usual favorites with balenciaga & celine being the exceptions.

i tend to wind down fashion month by looking back at commonality, and of course there were threads. to begin i must mention that hyper cropped/bolero/shrug jackets popped up in multiple collections, which means that the early oughts have officially come back (actual yikes). fringe is back for fall but in lengthy collars or at hems like crazy hair. mustard yellow/saffron fun fur coats showed up often, in fact fur e’erywhere in trims and bear sleeved jackets. contrast sleeves (including weird detached sweater sleeves) abound. demna gvasalia’s check suiting was in probably 90% of collections for fall. rockabilly denim (another demna inspired item) and canadian tuxedos (ahem) are coming for you. there were also loads of mixed prints (while there’s some demna there too, nobody does it better than print master dries van noten & the amazing jw anderson at loewe), and sheer everything (even more demna!).

at a certain point i had to tell myself to stop calling out rips or references to demna gvasalia and just take it all in, but i realize that you really can’t separate demna gvasalia from fashion month because it’s so glaringly clear how on everyone’s mind demna gvasalia is. there were the obvious references, but when it came time for heavy hitters like gucci, fendi and lemaire i started to notice something different. it wasn’t until celine showed that i realized just how influential demna is. last season there were synchronistic moments between balenciaga and celine, and as i watched celine’s fall collection i felt almost as if phoebe philo was riffing on demna. for fall vetements showed a “survey of social uniforms”  (a re-occurring theme of the label): that of a soldier, a delivery man, a punk, a homeless person (with sleeping bags), a bride, and a couple of women in business skirt sets. to me celine’s collection felt similar, but through the eyes of the celine woman: hardworking women who are navigating incredibly busy lives in bustling cities. celine’s collection felt almost like another piece of the conversation. a nod. from a woman who up until now has stood alone. what feels different this season is that demna’s presence has lost the sort of buzz of a hot new trend. over the last couple of seasons it has felt like the changing of the guard, and it feels now like the shiny newness of vetements is mellowing into what is shaping up to be the new normal: comment on the political climate, whether literal or metaphorical is omnipresent, gender lines are blurring and personal style (styling) reigns supreme.