Archive for the ‘TRYHARDTREND’ Category
One of the only new outfits I’ve been wearing this summer involves a weird polyester shirtdress that looks like a washed-out 70s nightie. I knew the dress looked a bit odd in the photos, but something about it held a synthetic allure for me that made me hit BUY. Maybe it was the watery mustard colours. Maybe it was the stiff cut that only a manmade fibre can provide. Or maybe it was the large holes in the shirt’s shoulders so that one’s skin slips out suggestively, ready for shrugging or shimmying.
The recent trajectory of holey clothes goes as follows:
Ripped jeans (always in and out of ‘fashion’) >> Cut-out swimsuits – least practical garment ever, why won’t they go away? If you want to wear a bikini, wear one, if you want to wear a bathing costume, bloody wear one >> clingy stretch-jersey tops with no shoulders (blame alexander wang) >> décolletage chest panels with that peek-a-boo bit >> cut-away shoes with unexpected peep-toes/shoes disguised as boots that should be shoes>>
If the cut-away clothes trend started with the body-con bandage dress in the mid-00s and loosened up as jersey got lux-er, then the holey dress is that bandage unwrapped, a progression (regression?) where the thing gradually (and er metaphorically) disintegrates. These cut-away clothes and shoes reveal something of the underneath and unless these gaps in the garments are where you pop your limbs through to enable wearing, they’re utterly superfluous, an inverted decoration. I’m a fan of shoulder-exposure done properly, but I fear the hole in the back, the gap across the front, the scalloped sides = overexposure.
All of this holey-ness on the high street brings me back to my mid-90s days when tiny stretchy MORGAN [de toi] tops and Jane Norman belly-flashing tunics were my night-out must-haves. I wonder if my 90s self would have dared go near a string-bikini-swimsuit or a stretchy dress deleted at the waist. As I’ve got older, my clothes need to bolster me, furnish me with some kind of sartorial reliability. These holey pieces are not structurally sound, their textural integrity is compromised as they threaten to unravel…
Holey-ness has become one of those trends that won’t go away – so it’s anyone’s guess what might get holepunched next. What I would like to see is an elbow trend though, so where physics teachers had suede patches, hot young things will have holes in their elbows like we used to when our school jumpers got really worn out. Or maybe not.
Here at Pamflet we have a definite soft spot for silly fashion trends, however one we have never been able to stomach is socks ‘n’ sandals. We even disapprove of the recent acceptance of tights with open-toe shoes – noooo! wrongwrongwrong! However, being fair-minded, reasonable folk, we have given Vogue.com’s Jessica Bumpus a platform to put her case in favour of the dreaded S ‘n’ S. Read on to see if she can change your (and our) minds…I’ve always been a fan of socks and sandals. I don’t mean of socks independently and sandals independently, I mean altogether, all at once at the same time. For me it’s the benchmark of a cool girl. It looks a bit awkward but in all the right ways. There’s something Lolita-sweet about it and, let’s be honest, there is a certain practicality about it too. But really I like the look the best.
So it’s odd then that so many girls shy away from the sock and sandal phenomenon – given that they spent their primary and perhaps even secondary school days sporting them so much. Now, they frown at such a combination, but perhaps that’s why – it’s a sartorial step backwards, it doesn’t feel grown up (and, OK, it does come with a bit of an 80s hangover for some).
But let’s look at the facts – ergo all the cool people that do socks and sandals. For a start, well, there’s me but then seriously there’s Chloe Sevigny [ed’s note: the fearless high priestess of the look – she even wears socks with flat sandals, shudder…], the Olsens, Alexa Chung and just take a look at the catwalks over the last few seasons from Burberry to Alexander Wang – the girls have all been rocking a sock with their directional shoes. So surely, actually, taking a stand and putting your fashion feet – clad in socks and sandals – out there is a more grown up thing to do.
On a slight tangent, socks were something of a sore talking point at my secondary school. The scallies (the northern equivalent of a chav) wore brightly-coloured ones – usually with rabbits, stars and such like on – when we were only really allowed to get as exciting as navy. See, I think the real reasons they caused controversy is because they were worn with a pair of New Balance (also banned), not sandals. Too stylish.
But back to the combo. The best way to do it? Contrast and clash so it looks so bad it’s good (which is actually the key to style anyway), or colour block and keep it simple. Lace around the ankles is always cute and something clompy on the sandal front always contributes to that great gawky look. So it’s simple really. Socks plus sandals equals style. jessica bumpus
PS. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s OK for the boys, but a loafer or a boating shoe and a good sock surely is.
Readers of pamflet-the-zine will be familiar with Try Hard Trends – things that bubble to the surface of our brains that are so ludicrous, so stupid, pretentious and ridiculous that it’s really only a matter of time before they pop up on the streets of Dalston and then, 3 months later, the pages of grazia. ha ha. Perhaps because we are all of the above, they’re also things we actually do/wear IRL.*
So as you were probably pining for THT (you were, weren’t you?), here are a few that have been waiting patiently to see the light of day.
Fashionweekfoot – after a few days of trotting around in stupid impractical shoe-boots or stilettos, trying not to skitter and fall on rain-slicked cobbles at Somerset House, patiently queuing for hours to get into shows etc, the poor fashionista is afflicted with fashionweekfoot. This is far worse than trench foot – i mean, like, this totally hurts.
frangelico/sweet sherry a la miss marple – the kool kidz have taken their newfound passion for heritage everything to its illogical conclusion and are to be found daintily supping small glass of sweet sherry, or if they’re feeling a bit more risque, Frangelico (you know, the bottle shaped like a monk with a little dinky rope belt around its middle? It’s well cool!) Obv said drinks should only be served in proper vintage glassware like Dot Cotton would own.
Angel cake: a little like the stripes on a Henry Holland jumper, Angel cake effortlessly evokes the candy-coloured decade of our childhood. Pink and yellow and cream stripes, held together with synthetic cream, so pretty on the plate and the perfect snack for watching Dogtanian or Knightmare.
stickers on laptops – no-one’s remotely impressed by that silly little symbol glowing away on the back of your screen. Cover it up with a sticker proclaiming your love for Pearl Jam, Vans or Elastica, heck, treat it like your beloved school binder and cover it in Tippex proclaiming who you fancy (in my case a toss-up between keanu reeves and eric cantona, le sigh….)
*’In Real Life’ noobs!
when my mum recently uncovered this old school photograph of her aunt sarah taken in around 1914 my eye was instantly drawn to the neatness of the young countryfolk in the picture. donegal (where this was taken) is the northernmost part of ireland and its coastal countryside is remoter still. these children weren’t exactly urban trendsetters, more typical rural young’uns of the 10s and they were tidy enough (at least for their school photo) to put neat wee bows around their necks in a nod to a kind of school uniform.
bows still hold a girly or artificial connotation in everyday wear now – they’re simply decorative or accessorising. here, however they were put to use in the outfits of both the boy and girl classmates – and i think the teachers too (which you could see if the quality of the picture was better – sorry).
these bows are not like the sad, static-y polyester tie i had to wear at primary school. instead there’s a pride in their austere, simple smartness that could never be summoned from a man-made (not handmade) uniform in 80s suburbia.
the picture of the be-ribboned children pointed to an etymology that i was forced to consider afresh about the use and wearing of bows now: when a woman attempts to subvert the feminine norm by appropriating the shirt&bow-tie of the working man, isn’t she overlooking history and the fact that these young chaps and girls wore bows for everyday, for school uniform even? SHOCK.
children in south korea and japan still wear sailor-scarfs or more conventional bows with their school shirts and blouses, but that would be considered twee or even plain weird here. when it comes to the everyday, the high street can just about accept pretty-androgeny or cheeky-provocativeness on grown-ups though – so there’s luella’s entire bow-sprinkled legacy to revive or the constant re-remembering of the pussy-bow blouse for daywear or dressing up in a girl-tailored-tux after dark… from now on, whenever i take those two strings in my hands to make a bow, i’ll be remembering what my ancestors wore and not just thinking crazytimes at the indiedisco.