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.
- did you hear that american apparel is back? gen xers rejoice!
- i’m feeling like i NEED a vintage missoni paneled skirt to be complete. as a woman.
- cannot wait for sweatshirt weather to come back.
- 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.
- tough to put into words how excited i am for the release of patti smith’s new book this month.
- really feeling like a berry lip and cheek stain is in order for pre-fall. fat and the moon things are all good things.
- little retro jelly bags make my inner 80’s pre-teen do a little tiffany heel-slide dance.
- 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 $$.
- oh man i want this silk sailor top from l’ecole des des femmes which is cute as shit man! also 40% off!
- 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.
- also glitter socks.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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).
- 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).
- 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).
- 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).
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.
so my dears, i thought i’d take a look at three seeds of reconstruction.
- first up is the ruffle hem jean, starting with the ruffle master: ellery ($572), on to msgm’s ruffle hem jeans ($285), to marques almeida’s frayed ruffle jeans ($424), to these ruffle jeans from style mafia (on sale for $81).
- next is the layered look with frame’s skinny double hem version ($240), and here is a vintage pair of double hem jeans ($44). coming on strong are ksenia schnaider’s layered jeans ($369), replicated here: skirt overlay jeans from storets ($92). last are y project’s high waist layered jeans ($390).
- next are a new kind of contrast hem jean, starting with what i consider the jean dujour from the incredible fabulous loewe: gold dipped jeans ($650). here is a pair of vintage jeans with gold silk hems ($67), another vintage pair with gold and beaded seams ($42), off white’s version of contrast cuff jeans ($739), and a pair of black contrast hem jeans from style mafia ($240).