Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s transgressive fashion
There is something admirable about developing a sense of style, free from the tyranny of trends that catch on en masse like wild fire (i.e. the ubiquity of off-the-shoulder ruffles and the dreaded “statement sleeve”). Basking in the novelty and freshness of something yet discovered is a rare treat. But more than that accessing the virtues and the merits of the trend in question rather than defaulting to its cool factor is a sign of independence and intelligence.
In many ways, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is not challenging the boundaries of fashion as we’ve always known it like she is with her politics, yet her look at the moment commands attention. She is often seen clad in a blazer and pumps which is nothing new for women who work. One might even say she is adhering to the trend here, as she was recently photographed in a Gabriela Hearst semi oversized double breasted jacket— which is the preferred suiting silho au moment. Many a power player are adopting a similar formula of monochromatic, sumptuous tailoring (see, pant suit nation or Nancy Pelosi’s firey Max Mara cloak of triumphalism—which TBH, I love).
Yet A.O.C is visually distinct amid a sea of congresswomen. Is it her bold red lips? Dark eyes? Punchy solid colors? In part, she means to use fashion as a transgressive act, even one of protest. The white suit she wore to her swearing was the signature color of the suffragette and she confessed to Colbert that the choice of her bright red nail color was made intentionally to rival the more subdued nude tones that are expected of women in these less than (aesthetically) exciting quarters of our nation’s head quarters.
But perhaps the magnetism can be attributed to the confidence and conviction inherent in her demeanor—qualities which are integral to good personal style. 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.