London Fashion Weekend 2009
23 September 2009:
Okay so the girl on the left chose a less-than-perfect time to blink. I wasn't going to leave it and pray no one would notice, because let's be real-- who doesn't judge a book by its cover? Realizing my serious interest in fashion by age 9, I was obviously one of those kids. Now back to these girls I met in line for the LFW '09 indoor sample sales, I was mesmerized by their effortless skill of layering. Even though it was nearing October, the center girl clearly didn't let the sharp London wind stop her from sporting a rather leg-bearing structured skirt. Paired with a navy blazer and those badass motorcycle boots, she conveys a take-charge look that perfectly suits her build. This skirt and boot combo represents the perfect departure from the unfortunate American desire to perpetuate the destroyed jean skirt/sand-colored UGG's look. So high school, so Jersey and just so embarrassing.
I love Blink Girl's (please never let her find this site...) drapey chambray blazer; the zip detailing is very different from the typical single-button schoolboy blazers you find in preppy goldmines like J. Crew. Ever since I read the Teen Vogue (if I remember accurately) feature in high school celebrating the combination of denim and cognac leather, I will always deem an outfit 900x more aesthetically pleasing should it display this particular interplay of color and texture. The girl on the right displays the quintessential candid celebrity outfit: oversized layered tops balanced with leggings and dainty ballet flats on the bottom. Seeing fashionable girls in group does to a certain extent seem to exemplify parts of the Cheerleader Effect (props, Mr. Stinson), but if anything, it works to your benefit if everyone is dressed consistently well.
23 September 2009:
These Italian beauties were kind enough to pose for a quick shot in front of the runway after Day 1's Manish Arora and Aquascutum shows. Making wonderful use of suede knee-high boots in two very different shades of brown, these girls played up their otherwise monochromatic outfits (besides the Patricia Field-designed limited edition pink leopard-print Ugly Betty Coca-Cola bottles we were gifted, of course. Yes, I still have mine). Standing by their neutral color palette, they make it work with their black minis and utilize shiny black leather in the form of an oversized tote and shrunken moto jacket to create another dimension for the top half of their outfits.
Slung Low's "They Only Come at Night"
10 November 2009:
Zanna Beswick is for sure the only professor I have met who has not only shown appreciation for my fashion interest, but has encouraged it. Because it's awesome to have a professor who sports a black leather motorcycle jacket, it was just as awesome to meet her niece Georgia, who expressed her fascination with American brands, particularly the very familiar A&F and Hollister Co., and it was a great fashion-pertinent example of the cultural diffusion I learned so much about in Middle School. Citing Topshop as one of her all-time favorite British brands, I love Georgia's blazer/floral blouse/mini outfit combination with sheer tights and flats.
18 September 2009:
Girl crush alert. How gorgeous are they? While the girl on the left's ensemble is not exactly groundbreaking and is actually rather reminiscent of the black elastic-waist colorblocked dresses I'm so very fond of (I say this dripping with sarcasm), it looks great on her, accentuating her tiny waist and hourglass figure. The girl on the right exhibits great use of dark tights and an adorably feminine dress. Usually I'm not the biggest fan of cap-sleeve blouses or dresses (this isn't fifth grade anymore, after all), but I am in awe of the major strengths of this dress. The jacquard fabric works perfectly with the textured trimming on the hem. The black vertical lines create a lengthening, corset effect, which I love. Certain dresses and tops get this line concept terribly wrong, but this is great.
24 November 2009:
I love this look because it is what it is: casual, carefree and candid. This girl's outfit isn't in any way over the top because it's quite the opposite: dressing well because it's the norm, not the exception. I love that in London, you can walk around for five minutes and find that nearly every female dresses like she walked out of an international fashion magazine without even trying. And I ask, why can't Americans everywhere dress like this? Instead, they resort to designer denim (yes, intuitively good) but pair it with something blah like a candy-colored Michael Stars or Three Dots cotton top (usually costing somewhere between a painful $50-$100... for a plain cotton tee. Why.), a black pashmina and Sperry's, defending their need to "look put together". Or maybe I'm just channeling the South. Regardless, this girl's use of balance and dark colors is just fantastic overall.
27 November 2009:
Now this is exactly what I imagine when I think about London and Euro fashion. What's not to love? Sure, it's slightly crazy, but that's also what's so damn commendable. Huge fluffy jackets, skinny jeans and shiny oxfords. While present-day American girls are just starting to experiment gingerly with one of the above trends, London locals seem to just have it in their blood to take risks and go a little wild. The best part is, to them, this is no big deal, even mild relative to actually going out of their way to dress with true innovation on the mind.
In short, while I undoubtedly wasn't the happiest girl in the world in London (minus spending 100% of my time with the wonderful Kristen Wood), I turned it around, learning a hell of a lot about myself and my interests, and was able to absorb as much as possible about their fashion-obsessed culture and norms of dressing. Juxtaposing a typical outfit of a British university student with that of a typical Wake Forest undergrad (guy or girl), I can't help but shake my head in disbelief at the extreme discontinuity in what's considered clean-cut and even worse, "cute". We'll see how this new year shapes up.
Here's to you, fashion. Cheers.