I once wrote that avoiding extremes in clothing was a good way to avoid ending up clothes that date too much - like extreme flares on a trouser, for example.
I am eating my words now, for I have jumped on the wide-leg trouser bandwagon. I blame those amazing Jesse Kamm trousers that are way out of my budget - certainly it was too expensive to ship to Singapore and risk it fitting poorly. They're like JNCOs, crossed with Annie Hall cool, and extremely adorable. But trousers are things I wouldn't buy without trying on.
The budget alternative appeared at Zara - always reliable for a trendy knock-off or two. They were surprisingly flattering and it was hard to pass up something gave such a good jolt to my wardrobe. There's a 70s' vibe to the style but what makes them appealing to me (as opposed to the bell-bottoms and flares of the era) is the voluminous leg and cropped length - my favourite length where trousers are concerned. The length worth for my lifestyle (flats-dominated), flatters my proportions, and are surprisingly versatile across a variety of cuts. I caved.
This whole affair got me thinking about trends, and brought me back to this great interview with Sally Singer in Paper magazine, where she noted that fashion was about the zeitgeist and how people don't wear clothes in isolation. This is certainly true for me, as someone interested in fashion and personal style. For me, clothing is socio-emotional. I connect with it at a level that's part nostalgic, part aspirational and part tribal, and even though I dress to please myself, some part of it has to do with what I'm surrounded by. I didn't agree with everything she said, but I particularly liked this quote:
"People who are interested in style -- designers, stylists or the girl or boy on the street -- get an idea and fixate on it, and for their whole lives, that's their ideal....Yet every season, there's a way to connect your personal aesthetic with something new. You intuitively think, 'I want something new that updates who I am, but at the end of the day I'm still myself'."
There have been trends in recent years that I've embraced - the return of a higher waist for trousers, for one, the midi-length is another. I'm not sure where they'll end up relative to my "forever" list (skinny jeans, converses, white t-shirts, loose fit blue shirts, navy cardigans). But I'm enjoying pulling things together from everywhere, while feeling like they make sense.
Speaking of fashion and the zeitgeist, this is a tremendous take on the Public School debut collection for DKNY. I agreed with every last word. Sample para:
"Throughout the ’90s DKNY dominated the market appealing to a younger, urban-oriented consumer who, though not shopping designer collections, could afford to spend a bit more to buy a nicely done jacket, in black crepe for the town, in tweed for the country. Or perhaps pick up an inventively cut but wholly appropriate black dress, prime for a gallery opening or a good day at the office. Throughout the ‘90s, not unlike the television show Friends which seemed to validate the urban lifestyle DKNY sold, it reigned supreme."
DKNY is one of those brands that defined an era for me, and I hope Public School can get past its unpromising start and return it to its heyday.