Rejecting disposable plastic bags never looked so chic. It began with the canvas tote, next the string bag, woven baskets, Balenciaga Bazar bags, and now the plastic basket. Fashion is obsessed with the 80s reusable bag. Why?
2016 has been a strange year, no doubt about it. To top it off and make the year even odder, a formerly categorized fashion faux pas, the puffer coat, is still the definitively trending outwear piece for FW16. I would like to say I am making this up, but it was seen on countless FW16 runways, endless street style shots, and Vogue.com has written about the trend three times (here, here, and here). Oof. And Marques Almeida wants you to wear in it in XXL.
Of course, the practicality is tempting, it’s like a wearing a sleeping bag, and adds to the list of practical trends. Like sneakers and hoodies, puffers have seamlessly transitioned from “fashion don’t” to ultimate cool item. But I can’t help but remember the traumas associated with the puffer.
What comes to mind when you think of puffer coats? The 90s hip hop scene? Feeling like Randy from A Christmas Story? Princess Di on the slopes? Perhaps, like me, your associations with puffers are more personal. I think of my childhood in the 90s and the countless times I would slyly leave the home in my glossy pink jacket and somehow wind up having to wear an undershirt, snow pants, and…a puffer coat. Parental echoes of, “Trust me, you’ll thank me later.” Pondering the puffer makes me recall Halloween night 1998 (aged 5) when I was given the choice to wear my parka (what I called a puffer coat) on top of my costume or under my costume and I chose the latter thinking that I had to show my costume off. The result was a much bulkier, inflated version of the princess I had hoped to be.
Back to 2016, when the puffer is hot, hot, hot and the question of flattery comes to mind. Does this coat look good on people other than street style stars or models? Will I knock someone over riding the subway in my XXL puffer and not even feel it? Is wearing it off-the-shoulder à la Vetements completely useless? (Yes.) Should I buy a gold one from Uniqlo or should I hit up a thrift store and buy a huge one formerly used by a dad in Hamilton?
No doubt this trend comes with a lot of questions, but the big one remains: will you wear one this winter?
Across the board of the Paris Fashion Week runway shows, there was a shifting tone away from the cool irony of Vetements (let’s say, for example) and toward the real, genuineness of the individual. Specifically, the woman. There was a sense that the fashion world is getting dressed again, and focusing on the art of it and power of that art. As such, the fact that the 80s is the major theme across all fashion weeks is no surprise. For 80s fashion embodies so many values–strength, feminism, power– that need to be nourished today–see the American election. Take for example the power suit, and with that the strong silhouette of empowered women. The jacket, with strong shoulders and impeccable tailoring is at the forefront of the trends. But at the same time, this same woman who wears the jacket can go out for a night of dancing in bright pink or a silvery mismatched dress and maintain her empowerment. She can roll up her sleeves and fix her broken sink, she can run a powerful business empire or even a country.
This woman, seen at Paris Fashion Week, can do it all and she does it proudly as herself, pretending to be nothing but that: herself. All of this was reflected in the trends and in the shifting politics of the fashion industry: Maria Grazia Chiuri took the seat at Creative Director at Christian Dior after a history of male successors, and Gigi Hadid (who recently showed a brilliant example of self defence in Milan) opened the most shows, evoking the powerful 80s supermodels. Phoebe Philo at Céline used the sountrack of everyday life, children’s voices and city traffic, to celebrate the everyday woman. This atmosphere among the shows at PFW meant that the trends at Paris Fashion Week, were all about strength, decisiveness and emblazoned sensuality.
Seen on Fall/Winter 2016 runways–including Marni, Versace, Trademark, Balenciaga most recently– the stirrup pant is most notably associated with the fashion of the late 80s and early 90s. Seeing as the 80s are back in full force (see: culottes, ruffled shirts, shoulder pads), it is no surprise that the stirrup pant has made its return as well. But where did this trend begin?
The stirrup pant has had quite a lengthy and transformative history. They were originally produced with the intention of helping female equestrians in the 1920s transition into seated position and out of sidesaddle. Then, at the 1936 Olympics, stirrup pants were used in skiing events, and maintained their use for skiing through the 60s.
In the 80s, they made a triumphant return once again as sportswear, through the rise of aerobics and in the form of leggings. And finally, in the 90s, they made their debut as what Steff Yotka from Vogue.com describes as “proto-athleisure.” It is during this time that your mum likely sport the pants with a large shoulder-padded suit jacket. Or just a large, patterned crew neck sweater.
Will this pant trend return as strong as the culotte? Perhaps. In some memories, the prominence of the stirrup pant still leaves a scarring memory of a time when bootcut trousers were missing from street fashion. For others though, they have yet to experience the stirrup pant in its glory and think wearing them could be an exciting idea. Like Rihanna.
Edie Sedgwick once said, “I’ll have to put more earrings on. I bet that someone could analyze me and tell my condition by my earrings.” She lived a pretty fabulous and bonkers lifestyle but one thing she got so right was her style. And goodness me, the woman could wear a pair of earring. The way she wore her earrings is just PHENOMENAL. Look!
Her oversized, “chandelier” earrings are so elegant. Though wearing exact replicas of Edie’s might cause permanent ear stretching (not advised), I love the recent trend of long earrings.
I especially love pairing long earrings with a high neckline. Last night, Cate Blanchett, style Queen, wore a gorgeous pair with a high neckline in the front and a low line in the back. This is gorgeous. The lines are stunning. She rules.
The handiest bit about this type of earring is that it pairs very well with my penchant of wearing turtlenecks all winter long. I’ll definitely be picking up this pair of Zara earrings for the holiday season. A timeless look I love.
The woman is a legend of style as much as she is legendary for her writing. With her style perfected for years and years, she shared some of her sartorial wisdom with Elle Magazine and, of course, it was amazing.
Here are some of her best quotes:
“I feel very strongly that almost the entire city has copied my glasses.”
“People care more about trends now than they do about style. They get so wrapped up in what’s happening that they forget how to dress, and they never learn who they are because they never learn how to take care of anything.”
“If it comes from the ’60s I never wore it.”
“What’s the point of being young if you’re not going to make new things, I wonder? It’s their job to innovate. That’s the entire point.”
“Not everyone in New York looks great, but you have a higher chance.”
“Of course, more people should wear overcoats than those damned down jackets. Please. Are you skiing, or are you walking across the street? If you’re not an arctic explorer, dress like a human being.”
“I was a great dancer. Not as great as Michael Jackson, but good.”
“Can you imagine if women tried as hard as drag queens? We’d be a much more attractive culture. I wouldn’t have to give out so many yoga pants citations.”
“I don’t feel that inside of Hillary Clinton there’s a Jane Birkin waiting to get out.”
You must respect her honesty. In her own words, Fran is always right because she is never fair.