Somehow, I ended up wearing an outfit that was almost entirely from Zara. This was no intentional. Dress/blazer/shoes: Zara. Brown leather doctor's bag: vintage.
Last week, I went to Paris. It was only for a day but it was amazing fun as I strolled along the Seine and ate cheese in some tiny Parisian cafe. Interestingly, when discussing outfits between me and my friends, we never really touched on the subject of bags and yet when we all met that very early morning, we all carrying a variation of a brown, leather bag. Maybe fashion influences us in ways that we can't even imagine but I like to think of it as being on the same wave-lengths as the people that understand you most.
August has just began but Elle, Vogue and many other magazines have shifted focus from bikinis to boots. Stores have also flooded with all things camel (arguably the new season's hottest shade) so this brought a thought into my mind about something that is supposedly back. The Woman. This calls for an explanation. 'The Woman' is a trend that was conjured up on the runways of Louis Vuitton and Prada. Other designers clearly made clothing for women however it was those two that somehow captured the essence of femininity. Both collections displayed subdued hues, midi-length, some sort of hourglass shape and frills. These things could be viewed as synonymously womanly. I just want to know why in the A/w10 we're still regressing to the past when looking for something feminine. Prada seems to tell me that some ruffles on my boobs will do the trick of enhancing not only my bust but also my view of what it is to be a woman. Louis Vuitton just pushes all that you have (in the chest area) upwards and puts it on display whilst pairing those kind of tops with flared out skirts albeit, sometimes, in leather which makes it more interesting. Another thing to annoy me? The claim by magazines, that have bitten, chewed, and spit out the designer messages, 'curves are back'. Trouble is, they're masquerading under this slogan because what they really want to say is 'it's okay to have boobs this season'. Designers should dictate fashion and not body shapes but that's a whole other article. Back to the clothes now. We all know that the times are hard with the economic downturn and design houses also suffer so they're reverting to old tricks to try and showcase collections that connote better times. However the 50's and 60's had troubles of their own so are the designers really just following the trend set up by Mad Men? I have never seen the show but references in fashion magazines have allowed me to conjure up a pretty solid image of the aesthetic that the show sells: glamour and sex in the location of an office in the 60's. Marc Jacobs has admitted to watching Jersey Shore so I can forgive if he's keeping the inspiration for his Louis Vuitton collection secret in a bid to not look like he just copied. Muiccia Prada on the other hand said that she has never seen it so all hail coincidences, I guess? Fashion is shallow 90% percent of the time, admitting to it would help.
I don't think what that aesthetic of Mad Men presents is practical because times have moved on and I just can't see myself wearing a dress where my boobs are decorated and pushed up with a bit of my midriff also exposed. Maybe I can't comment on 'The Woman' trend because I'm still a girl but my intuition tells me that these collections were produced as a dress up for those looking to emulate some sort of past glamour. I just don't appreciate being told what it means to be a woman (girl) and how one should dress especially if its evocative of an era where a woman had to dress a particular way due to a lack of choice.
I decided to choose a few looks that I feel would represent the modern woman a lot better or at least fits it more with the idea of your own identity.
First up, it's Celine. Now, I don't work in an office and yet I appreciate just how amazingly well the clothes would look in a formal, business environment. The clean lines that accentuate the body without making any particular part jump out and the new use of leather. The simplicity of this look gives it sexiness and an edge. There's modesty in the skirt length but a leather top definitely pushes the boat to say that women in the 21st century are not afraid of unconventional fashion.
Micheal Kors delivered glamour, comfort and luxury all in the shade of camel. He made separates which could easily make their way into the wardrobe of women who could afford them. His collection looked practical due to the nature of individual pieces and yet none of them were overtly sexual. Each look had the right amount of chic without becoming dowdy or dull. I think it was the first time in my life I didn't mind an image of myself working in an office, only if I could wear that collection though...
Out of all the looks I saw (and I obsessively clicked through style.com as soon as each collection hit the web) Isabel Marant was the one that actually made me feel something. You see, it's difficult to describe but as I flipped between the images, I had this innate inner sense of 'this is what the woman of today looks like'. I realise that all women look differently and still, it felt like every piece had a purpose. I found it strange how Marant's designs made me think of someone feminine yet strong. The looks just feel so easy going with great styling. There's no forced sexiness or attempt at modesty that's evident in corset like garments or cleverly placed ruffles. Marant made clothes for women with comfort in mind without taking away style. I never thought that exposure of the ankle via cropped jeans could be so cool.
I want to live in Isabel Marant's world. I want to be the woman that can choose to either wear a skirt or a dress or a pair of jeans without compromising my feminine side. I want to look effortless and pulled together. I want clothes that represent choice and don't force stale ideas of sexuality upon me. As I said before, maybe at seventeen I am too young to understand 'The Woman' but I know which woman I would like to be.