Walt Whitman believed in the power of the American working class and yet his poetry is beloved by the British intelligentsia. We wonder if this strange dichotomy has a parallel in fashion. In fact so many humble materials, cuts and designs originally meant for workers seems to have been reinvented as a prominent features of intelligent British luxury labels. And no we don't just mean the classic Burberry trench coat. We think this Mulberry Canvas Jacket is emblematic of this peculiar phenomenon of working class values being reinterpreted by elites. The humble canvas spring coat was meant for warmth on a brisk morning while out in the fields, or at least that is the romanticized version we have in our heads. But the $1,119 price tag is justified by its smart yet relaxed aesthetic. And so we have the poetry of a simpler people sold to a rarefied cultural class. Leaves of Grass indeed. Naturally we highly suggest picking one up for spring.
For Spring 08 Chloe turned out a slew of thick-strap patent sandals in teals, aquas, and nudes. One of our favorites, are the the patent crisscross buckle sandals in turquoise. With a fuschia cone heel, 2 1/2" straps, and metal buckles (similar to those on ski boots), we think these sandals give every pair of Havaianas (yes, even in New York people wear them) a big, decisive 'Outta my way'. For the other shapes and styles, check out our spread below. No matter which pair you choose, bright patent leather that locks onto your foot the same way athletic gear might, is something we don't think anyone will argue with.
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Metallics, as they are an intrinsic characteristic of 'holiday' attire, are bound to crop up every season in slightly different hues. This Fall 08, in addition to burnt golds and coppers, we saw quite a few opulence trends on the runway, turning Fall 08 into a 'holiday-happy' season indeed. The Fall 08 Philosophy Di Alberta Ferretti collection, for instance, is full of holiday party options. The collection touched on the lace, sequin, and velvet trends of Fall 08 while pulling in the classic metallics we were expecting all along. We quite like this embellished tank because styled a la Proenza Schouler with wool trousers, a leather jacket, and paired down hair and makeup, it would be the perfect 'Fall/Holiday 09' moment. Sequins, this season, are meant to look a little disheveled (a little like you've been digging in the dress-up trunk) and so this blouse would be perfect as the dressed-up ingredient. Net-a-Porter styled it with slim black cigarette pants, which show you the more classic approach to wearing this piece (and it looks quite sharp like that too) but if we were going to wear it, we'd go for contrasts in texture. Below, the Philosophy Fall 08 show so you can break down the pieces and muss them up Fall 08 style.
The rhythms of the world exist whether or not modernity has seen fit to erase our awareness of the physical world. Observing the celestial sphere has been a prime human task since the world was light only by fire. Traditions of The Sun helps us recapture this lineage. As we browsed the observatories we were reminded of the pyramid trends so prevalent now in jewelry. Lena Wald's Spike Ring in Silver evokes for us the striving Yucatan observatories with their cool gray stone layered to help us reach for the sky. And like the moon that reflects the sun's light in silver, these inspirations reflect back our natural world.
The say the internet is an echo chamber but fashion's ability to to remain insular is unparalleled. And so as once was the way of Courrèges so now is the way of many designers with the sack dress. It would seem that relative lack of subtlety involved in a direct contrast of high and low is lost on many. And while we believe that style can involve three thousand dollars worth of accessories or twenty bucks worth of stolen goods and found items, we do ask for some vision or rigor in application. We cannot of course all be Mugatu's as the joke has been told. Nevertheless it is no difficult matter to find designers like Grey Ant with their darling Gold Lamé Sack Dress who imagine that the material can go just a little bit farther. A plain form, some precious material and the endless cycle of fashion searching for the immaterial inspiration that powers the material continues.
Coming in at just over 2,000 dollars, this Calvin Klein silk shirt dress is just about as Hamptons-chic as you can get. The 100% silk maxi dress has a very light geometric pattern (remember, it's Klein) and a contrast collar. The slip underneath comes to knee which means you'll get that sexy leg-flash thing when your riding your vintage bicycle to the market for fresh strawberries. What makes it worth the investment (if 2,000 should seem a bit much) is that the fabric and length make it such that you can also dress it up with heels and red lipstick in the evening. It touches on the neutral trend (so popular this season) and also suits a range of body types. We can't really find fault with a dress that's, well, so perfect in every way. If you want more Klein, check out our video from the Fall 08 fashion show, complete with an interview with Francisco Costa as well as a gallery of the complete Spring 08 collection, both below.
Okay, granted, it's a bubble dress. But, like anything, exceptions must be made. This Zac Posen Strapless Bubble Dress is actually, as the silhouette goes, on the acceptable side. The print follows that ubiquitous 'art-inspired' trend that's been rammed down our throats all season, though 'art-inspired' is better than most trends as far as we're concerned. There's something decidedly metaphysical going on here, where it could have easily been psychedelic (afterall, it's tie-died). See the Zac Posen Spring 08 collection below, where prarie met the big blue sky, right in the middle of the Bryant Park tents.