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Everyone who has ever known me says I’m an old soul (which implies that I can’t keep up with the kids anymore and/or am surprisingly sensible for my age. The former is most likely true, but I take offense to the latter. Not all millenials are the same! Age-ism, man.). Whatever. If that’s the case, I’ve been doing a lot of growing up lately for an old chunk of cheddar. Once carefree, my day-to-day existence now consists of bills, boyfriends*, and buying in bulk.
You know you’re an adult when…
These days, waistlines are higher and hemlines are longer. If my 18-year-old self saw me now, she’d be second-guessing my distinct preference for wide-legged trousers for days in the office and nights out (but hopefully impressed by the woman she’d become). Once upon a time there was a special place for bandage skirts and mini dresses, but alas, no longer in this lady’s wardrobe do these teeny-tiny fabrics exist. RIP — may you find peace in some thrifty teen girl’s dorm room under-bed storage.
Instead, I’m pining for a return of 70s and early 80s glamour: textures and elongating proportions; flared denim and high-waist trousers; bell sleeves and high-neck blouses; tailored suits and gypset dresses. If you manifest hard enough, it’ll come according to The Secret philosophy. And come it did.
Praise the fashion deities for fall runway 2015.
I’m not yet caught up on all of NYFW (ugh — bills, boyfriends*, bulk-buying take precednce), but so far, Ralph Lauren is easily ranking as a favorite. It’s pretty much a given when you scroll through each look, but liking the brand itself comes as a personal surprise. I’m not sure if Ralph Lauren’s creative direction has been veering towards an edgier aesthetic (for them, of course) the past few years (given its lead in social media/tech these days!) or if I’m really maturing, but I’m suddenly infatuated with the brand. My inspiration folder — both virtual and physical — are brimming with RL tearsheets.
This season was one of RL’s best yet. Apparently Kanye — West, do we ever need to clarify? — said “Ralph is god” (WWD) the week of the show, so you better believe that when there are two gods at play (Kanye, according to Kanye, and Ralph, according to Kanye), something great is bound to be found. Style critics seem to be saying that this show has a “distinct Western flavor (WWD);” I’m more apt to describing the collection as one with Western influence. There’s exposed stitching and bucket bags; natural textures (suede, shearling “fur,” rich knits) and wide-brimmed fedoras; fringe and boots. If Carmen Sandiego ever decided to retire her signature red trench and bad-ass boots and hat get-up, Ralph Lauren would be her first stop.
Fall 2015 wasn’t nearly as countrified or costume-y as previous years, WWD reports. What Ralph Lauren is best known for — an “all-American,” Western-inspired aesthetic (presumably a romantic nod to capitalist, imperialist notions and western expansion the U.S. takes pride) meets old-Hollywood, Gatsby-meets-1940s vibe — is actually what turned me away from their shows in the first place. Lovely, but not quite my cup of tea. Everything’s too perfect, too statuesque.
This season was less about this perfectly coiffed woman and more about being she who’s striking. The collection is still distinctly Ralph Lauren in that it’s true to its roots, but there’s a little more freedom this time around. There’s more movement in the physical clothing, and there’s more mystery. She’s refined, but not afraid to get dirty. She’s a city girl — totally chic, urbane — but down to earth. (A country girl at heart, or an appreciate for good knits and chunky texture?) By day, she’s trekking city streets in boots made for stomping and braving the chill in layers of luxe “fur” and patchwork ponchos; by night she’s sleek, slick, even more enigmatic than she was hiding under a hat. The all-black, three-piece suits? Perfectly tailored. I’ve never loved menswear-inspired looks more.
The fall RL woman isn’t as feminine as she used to be; she’s femme.
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* Just kidding, singular… t’was for the sake of syntax.
“We never say that all men deserve to feel beautiful. We never say that each man is beautiful in his own way. We don’t have huge campaigns aimed at young boys trying to convince them that they’re attractive, probably because we very rarely correlate a man’s worth with his appearance. The problem is that a woman’s value in this world is still very much attached to her appearance, and telling her that she should or deserves to feel beautiful does more to promote that than negate it. Telling women that they “deserve” to feel pretty plays right in to the idea that prettiness should be important to them. And having books and movies aimed at young women where every female protagonist turns out to be beautiful (whereas many of the antagonists are described in much less flattering terms) reinforces the message that beauty has some kind of morality attached to it, and that all heroines are somehow pretty.”