It’s an interesting time in fashion right now for the stylistically conscious. The rules have changed to a new dynamic in which there really are no rules and anything goes. It’s mutiny for anyone who has committed themselves to believing in the cardinal rules of fashion. For example, now it is not only acceptable, but encouraged by the fashion elite to wear denim on denim, a previous disgrace. And not only that, but in today’s era, black mixed with a solid navy works (which I’ve been saying for YEARS, but whatever.)
This trend of throwing the rules to the wind really started taking off last fall when Burberry Prorsum started mixing prints in their 2013 Ready-to-Wear collection. However, many other major fashion brands, such as Zara and Marc by Marc Jacobs, have really run with it since. It really hit me full force when I was wide-eyed and stupefied (said with attitude) in front of an Elizabeth and James mix printed manikin after a job interview in Schaumburg last week.
The stylist at Nordstrom had paired a fitted leopard print tank with a waisted plaid flannel and a dark denim straight leg pant. Let me repeat, leopard with plaid. F*cking leopard…with plaid. Separately speaking, they are in the top three ugliest things I’ve ever looked at, next to Anna Nicole Smith’s breast implant structure (may she rest in peace). However together, the two seriously worked. How?
- That I was being brainwashed because I honestly just trust Nordstrom so much that I could have overlooked the ridiculous move and accepted it as my own without question. Although, I’ve never known Nordstrom to betray my trust like that, so that couldn’t be it.
- That everything I know thus far has been a lie. What once was chic and cultured is no more. What was in is out. What was out is in, and every rule that I hold dear, I must reverse and call it “fashion.”
- The more likely scenario, the true scenario, that it just seriously worked.
I wasn’t convinced, though. I didn’t want this to be one of those situations slapping us, as a culture, in the face. Like when we look back through an old 1980’s issue of Vogue and see all of the horrible mistakes that have been made by our fashion predecessors. I needed to sleep on it–in fact, I’ve been sleeping on it for a week. Ultimately, after pain staking and sleepless hours of confusion, I have come up with this.
Fashion has always been and will always be about dressing in a way that makes you feel beautiful in your own skin. It is no surprise, then, in a world of testing boundaries, that as people challenge the rules around us, we start to challenge them, too–both in fashion and otherwise. Had Neil Armstrong not pushed to defy the laws of physics, we would never have safely landed a man on the moon. And in the same respect, I imagine that had some queen not try to assert her originality by defying societal fashion norms, we would never have wound up with this dominant and self expressing trend today.*
If you’re afraid to jump right into this look, one more thing you can do is try mixing prints within the same color palette. Try black and white combinations, or different hues of the same color. Then you’ll feel a little more comfortable getting crazy with prints. So get wild, baby! Wear plaid if you must! Push those boundaries and try things where the outcome may seem uncertain, because then and only then, will new trends develop to inspire yourselves, the world, and maybe even the Givenchy Resort collection of tomorrow. I am seriously feeling the inspiration already, are you? Oh my God (!!!) I should start giving graduation speeches or something. Call me, Harvard Law!
Now go in peace, live in harmony with all prints and patterns, and serve the fashion gods with gladness. Just don’t go all crazy and wear a rainbow striped play suit with polka dots and fringe. Or even worse, Sketchers.
*Yes, yes I did just compare mixing patterned fabrics to landing on the moon.