Erdem’s eye on eyelet

It was a deviation from the usual array of digi printed floral midi dresses. I was indeed surprised to find a full throttle embrace of eyelet in SS20.  Not just in the usual prim and proper silhouettes we’ve come to know but in great, voluminous dresses, fit for a Victorian wake and in decorous trenches.  It makes one wonder if, enfin, this is the brand’s new face—and if it is indeed a step in the right direction.

The surprisingly stylish transformation of athleisure

These new creatures of dress are transcending the bounds of gym attire straddling the line between work and play, weekend and weekday, business and leisure. Chino-like styles fabricated in stretch fabrics breathe new life into a familiar silhouette, challenging the properties and function of twill as we’ve always known it.  Pants with slits at the ankle and built up funnel necklines are surprisingly fresh details that have yet to really make a strong presence in American dress and therefore feel like we are wearing something entirely new.  

Very good statement sleeves

I confess that I haven’t taken to the statement sleeve in the same way that most designers have—that is with unfettered abandon and a zeal for an excessive amount of things happening between the area from the shoulder seam to the sleeve opening.  But personal preferences aside, statement sleeves do present an opportunity for striking design details. I’ve found this bevy to be among the most tasteful iterations.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s transgressive fashion 

But perhaps what commands attention and goes hand in hand with any notion of good personal style is the confidence and conviction inherent in her demeanor.  And while there is much to lament daily re: the White House, her particular brand of swagger and unapologetic feminine aesthetic is breathing new life into a much needed face lift for democracy.  

New year, new you

I love any and all excuses to momentarily depart from the routine of what we wear and how we wear it. And, New Years Eve for me is the perfect embodiment of this celebration.  The usual rules that govern what is acceptable garb transform to the shimmery, sparkly, sheer and sumptuous.  Best of all, “over dressed” is not likely an adjective that will be applicable.   

A million reasons to love tights

Where would we be without tights when the sun sets at 4:30 P.M. and the temps drop? Surely, the answer is both poorly dressed and freezing, relegated to the likes of denim day in and day out— which isn’t necessarily an offense. But for those who seek a bit of variety, tights provide an economical diversion to what can otherwise be the winter doldrums.  

In pursuit of the perfect beret

Is it the rampant Francophilia that has taken to the American beauty and fashion spheres or a sincere desire to trash my Muji cable knit hat in favor of something with more verve and style?  I suspect a combination of both.  And, a quick google search leads me to believe that I am not alone in this desire.  Urban Outfitters, Free People and J.Crew have included this beloved accessory in their assortments.  

Organdy, organza and tulle are the sheer fabrics of your literal dreams

Despite the perceived impracticality, I want to wear more of these sheer, sometimes boardy fabrics. Perhaps it’s the irony they contain: they are barely there and serve the purpose of clothes, in that you wear them, but they expose rather than conceal.  But more simply, sheer fabrics can be a departure from the ubiquitous forms of jersey and twill which we’ve become so familiar with.

Prada is the priestess of personal style

This mix and matching of pre-existing oddities and proportion playing is a novel way to approach dressing which gives the most mileage for what you already have in your closet. It places significance on the ensemble as a whole rather than the latest and greatest item and it takes the pressure off consumer madness to own everything. But, best of all, this show encourages you to make outfits your own, staking claim on the idea of personal style in any way you like.

Vogue’s September issue: another reason to love Beyoncé

The decadence the cover photo exudes does feel a touch nostalgic.  It is daring to eschew the stark minimalism which is so clearly preferred today (see Michelle Williams’ Vanity Fair September issue look).  Pricey photo shoots with elaborate sets in exotic locations no longer seem strictly necessary to sell clothing and capture an audience—we are captured plenty by Instagram. And our quotidian dress is following suit adhering to practical principles, embracing comfort and functionality, stripped of the frilly, fussy and flowery like we see in the editorials of Vogue.  

Phantom Thread’s other worldly appeal

By taking a cue from this movie, we might give more thought to the details and standards by which we conduct our affairs and find ourselves uncompromising in where these convictions lead us.  We may in turn be surprised how our life might unfold when guided by a sense of what is beautiful and not, what is right and wrong, just and unjust.

Couture season is upon us and that's a good thing

Quite plainly couture is one of the few traditions of human craftsmanship that remains impossible to “hack” or otherwise “disrupt” by the tech industries insistence to migrate our lives from the analog world to that of the screen.  Ready to wear, by virtue of its accessibility experiences all of the volatility of the market, trends and the capriciousness of its consumers.  Vastly out of reach from all of this, couture remains largely untouched by market forces which would otherwise determine its fate.  The quality, merit and sophisticated design principles that are required in fashioning couture are worth our attention even if it its ends are ultimately non-utilitarian.

Have we lost another creative director to the philistines? Dissecting the Dries Van Noten/ Puig deal.

The deal might not prove to be so detrimental after all, yet it doesn’t diminish the sneaking notion that we are living in a time where cultivated thoughtfulness is losing its pull for more tasteless—dare I say—populist ideals. The designer who can keep his or her house afloat without sacrificing the integrity of his or vision is a boon for all of us concerned with good design.

Reminiscing on the legacy of Kate Spade 

She towed the line between multiple aesthetics: preppy with a girlish tilt, serious careerist with a bit of whimsy, an uptown penchant for glamour with a downtown propensity for daring. In stark contrast from the entrepreneurs who look out and seek to replicate what is already in the world, Kate Spade demonstrated an ability to envision and invent an entire world all her own—one in which whose story is told through the medium of dress. Such originality is a mark of any true designer or artist.  

Zadie Smith wears Prada well

Miuccia Prada.  We love her. She seems to be the only designer who can flout conventionally pretty attire and yet somehow still be entirely commercially marketable.  We adore her quirky color palette, the zany curvature of her heels which have become her trademark along with her low-slung slouchy disproportionate silhouettes—an architectural anomaly that still manages to flatter the female form. It is part of the juxtaposed appeal of Prada, a world where eccentricities do not diminish the fact of being bona-fide power-player of an adult. 

On sleeves and social change: thoughts on the royal wedding

I warmed to my distaste of the dress, even watched it transform into a sort of fascination. I realized that the cause of my initial disappointment was rooted in increasingly petrified notions of pomp and circumstance, fairy tales, femininity, romance and glamour.  I am glad Markle rather shook us out of our comfort zones with such an austere choice.  It made the endeavor a very earthly, human affair rather than the inflated illusions of grandeur that royal weddings generally promote.  As Vanessa Friedman of The New York Times wrote, it was a dress for a person, not a princess.  

The problem with investment pieces

The investment piece is as much a political statement as it is an aesthetic choice, one rooted in quality and minimalism over garishness and disposability. And yet the very practical snag inherent in this line of thinking often manifests itself with a closet full of pieces that are no longer wearable for one reason or another.