Posted By: Stella Glass
I realized recently, that while I like clothing and style, I kind of hate fashion.
Looking at fashion photography where a designer’s goals have been realized is fun and inspiring, and putting on a beautifully constructed garment that feels like it was made for you-or even a tshirt that you’ve worn to perfection– is the height of making art of ourselves.
But fashion, as a dictum, I think is kind of bullshit. On any given weeknight the bars and restaurants of the Meatpacking District, the West Village and even the Lower East Side are teeming with girls in tall boots, skinny jeans, French stripe sweaters and shrunken jackets. Unless it’s the weekend in which case they have on little skirts, leggings and the pony-play looking booties that are as ubiquitous now as Uggs were in 2003.
Knowing what looks good on you is a much better indicator of style than knowing what’s “on trend” , yet season after season I see women attempting to impress don some of the most unflattering garments possible in the name of fashion. Some trends are practically a joke on the wearer as I believe is the case with high-waisted jeans and the one-piece jumpsuit which, despite popping up on runways and in fashion publications with alarming regularity, flatters exclusively ConEd workers and the whippet thin Eastern Bloc models scissoring up and down Gansevoort street on their way to go-sees.
WHy does a girl on the subway in a long white wife beater, leggings and a pea coat command more attention than the girl two seats down with high-ass heels, a metallic coat and a Louis Vuitton handbag? Trying to pinpoint what it is about the outfit is useless, cause it has little to do with clothes and all to do with having an understanding of oneself and a desire and ability to present that honestly to the world. One of the most invigorating things to happen to fashion in recent years-and something that as usual, can be traced back to Ms. Kate Moss-is the acceptance and encouragement of mixing high and low fashion. Prada boots with an H&M dress, Hanes wife beater with a Karl Lagerfeld jacket and a pair of J.Crew sandals. As silly as it is that this is considered a “trend”, it’s nice to see the fashion powers that be being somewhat realistic about the necessity of getting dressed everyday, and giving kudos to those who have the eye and the desire to dress themselves in an interesting way without breaking the bank or looking like some ridiculous fashion casualty.
Every year around springtime I get the itch to buy new clothes and essentially start the new season as a more stylish, hotter upgrade model of myself. Stella 09.
Fashion magazines come out in March and February, glossy pages bursting with directive advice on what I Must Have this season. Usually what happens is I find a few looks that I love and blow my tax refund on a bunch of new shit, leaving my credit card bills high and dry and not making a single above-minimum payment to my student loans.
This year however, the gods decided to smile on me in a backhanded way, by offering virtually no new styles that I am even slightly interested in procuring. Leopard print boots, shredded and ripped wool sweaters, suit jackets with formal shorts and metallic fabrics couldn’t be less relevant to my life or how I see myself and so I am embracing the spring with an eye to creating a more defined personal style in the midst of all this “fashion”.
But as silly as I find all the posturing my schadenfreudiness is actually looking forward to sitting on stoops on the Lower East Side or in the West Village as the warmer months progress, and watching the city’s marketing associates, sales reps and PR coordinators go by. Recession or no, I will find some small amount of amusement in watching a parade of ladies in leopard print platform boots with heels to high for walking, shiny satin jumpsuits far too tight for sitting, swinging metallic handbags covered in hardware much too heavy for carrying, as they trip and stumble and stagger forth for fashion.