Monday, February 23, 2009

Spring Fashion Forward

Maybe it's pre-emptive but I'm starting to smell spring and it smells good. The thought of ditching my down-filled coat excites and inspires me... And so I turn to Chanel in order to "chanel" (ooh, bad word pun... sorry!) that energy into awesome outfit.

First a word about Chanel. Coco Chanel was one damn rad dame. She hipped us to short hair, the mini-skirt, the powersuit and pants when women's fashion was still in the dark ages. A lot of people have a real hate-on for the fashion industry, justifiably so, but I just want to remind y'all that at the heart of it, Haute Couture is about Art and Craft. Artists envision and design the wearable works of art that are then brought to life by highly skilled and trained artisans like embroiderers, beaders, seamstresses, etc. Though the final product tends to be unwearable and unaffordable, its essence trickles down to become mainstream fashion. I think we could benefit by returning to the idea of custom-made clothes made by local artisans, but I'll say more about that later and over and over.

Karl Lagerfeld, who aside from being damn hilarious, is the head of the Chanel House, is making sure that Coco's legacy lives on - and The Spring/Summer line is no exception.

Let's break it down:

Skinny Pants. This doesn't mean low-rider jeans that simultaneously give you plumber butt and muffin top. We're talkin' well-tailored trim pants, not just jeans. They can bunch the tiniest bit at the ankle for a more casual look.

Cropped Jacket. Finally, I can pull out my boleros from the summer of 2005 and not get funny looks from the fashion unconscious. Careful not to wear it over a pouffy dress - make sure there is space between the bottom hem of the jacket and where your dress or skirt starts to 'pouf', about the length of the black band in the photo. Otherwise, the look will be round and not tidy-tailored.

Belt Band. A fabric belt or belly warmer worn around your natural waistline, with your top tucked in but not tightly so you have fabric hanging over the top edge of the band.

Headgear. I don't expect the Montreal ladies to be sporting large floral and bird-themed headpieces this spring, but we can borrow Chanel's essence here: when we shed those toques this spring, tuck a brooch, flower or dollar-store bird in your tresses. Tresses. I can't believe I just used Cosmo slang instead of saying "hair".

Blousy Tops. What happened to shirts with little capped sleeves, thick hems and room to breathe? Hopefully this signals their return. This look is also great for dresses - look for a thicker band of fabric around the waist that the top will hang over.

Cautionary Tale. Maybe try to stay away from wearing all these items at once. Unless you're getting married - which seems to be the new youthful hipster trend these days - in which case you have my permission to wear whatever the hell you feel like.

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