Is this a strange time to be writing about something as frivolous and superficial as fashion?
Yes! And no.
On the one hand, with war raging and reports of daily casualties, clothing seems like the least important thing at the moment.
On the other hand, no matter what, we all have to put clothes on when we wake up in the morning and head out the door. It's a decision that has to be made and we might as well make the best of it.
With the current state of the economy and the uncertain mood prevailing, I'm even more convinced that feeling good and looking your best, and the confidence that this imparts, happens to be a wonderful escape from life's bigger problems.
More importantly, I'm even more convinced in my resolve to spread the word that there are ways around the high cost of dressing, andyou don't need tospend a king's ransom in order to be well dressed.
You don't even need to buy new clothes each season in order to feel up to the minute (if that happens to be your goal).
Most often, you just have to shop in your own closet, be creative and employ some smart styling tricks.
Think presentation, not perfectionAfter sitting through countless fashion shows, I can attest to the fact that most often, it isn't the clothes presented on the runways. It's really the way clothespresented that can make the difference.
The good news is that looking good, thankfully has little to do with the old fashioned idea of perfection.
In fact, designers seem to go out of their way to celebrate imperfection, and often take great pains to integrate these "off" moments into their collections. So, if you want to know how to turn near disasters into great fashion moments AND save money at the same time, read on.
The jagged edgeHow many times have you reached into your closet for a favorite tailored jacket or suit, only to realize that the edges are now frayed, and it looks tattered and mangled?
Beforeyou get rid of it --or visit the tailor for some expensive repair work-- know that some designers purposely set out to create threadbare designs.
- Recently in Paris, for fall/winter 2003, Junya Watanabe showed elegant Chanel inspired tweed jackets and corresponding skirts, with edges purposely tattered, frayed, and threadbare.
- Vera Wang "destroyed tulle" as Vogue's Andre Leon Talley aptly described it, infusing her luxurious evening separates with an edge
- For spring/summer 2003, Cynthia Steffe seemed to use a pair of scissors in order to make her sleeves and hems appear to be uneven and unfinished.
Have a pair of favorite well-worn jeans that are torn and ripped and seem to have one hole too many?
Ralph Lauren, for his highly acclaimed spring/summer 2003 collection, put a modern spin on couture when he paired refined vintage-inspired Edwardian jackets in dainty wallpaper prints, as well as delicate beaded tops, with torn, ripped, well- worn, faded, distressed jeans.
He even fashioned a ballskirt with a bustle from the faded all American staple!
In distressIn the fashion world,well-worn items arenot an emergency call for SOS but rather, a fashion moment in the making.
For several years, vintage-inspired, antiqued, distressed, well-worn leather goods (bags, belts, shoes) and clothing have been making their way onto runways and store shelves.
I don't know about you, but I have almost thrown items out with those same attributes.
So, before you head to the junk pile, please note: designers are purposely creating items that look as though they were treasures found in thrift shops, flea markets, and Salvation Army stores.
The look issupposed to appear as though your new purchases are actually old collectibles and heirlooms.