Despite the inundation of haphazard, “photograph me!” style statements, the outfits that made an impression were the ones that struck the balance between being thoughtfully chic (a word in need of resurrection) and effortlessly singular.
Also, as always, the French Voguettes made everyone else look like nerds.
All photos via Style.com
After a weekend of thunderstorms, it was cold, gray and ominous in New York today and I found myself not only wearing pants (something I’ve categorically refused to do for two months) but also donning autumnal hues of pumpkin, sage and plum (neon-satchel-functioning-as-sun-lamp not included). It was an inescapable reminder that after tomorrow it will be August dog days, time will lose its linear quality for a little while and the bittersweet (mostly bitter) smoldering away of summer will begin.
The 2012 Olympics are everything I love about everything. Pomp and ceremony, patriotism, global solidarity, sports, costumes, London. Throw in the lascivious tales to come from the Olympic Village and I’m done.
The story-lines are bound to be epic and I can’t wait to watch the Dream Team 2.0 in action, the spectacular tension between the US women hurdlers play out and Michael Phelps represent my hometown as he looks to beat the record for overall medals won (USA upsetting France in the 2008 relay is still one of my favorite sports moments).
And despite the truly incomprehensible decision to have the Team USA uniforms made in China, I love them. More people should wear berets, especially if they look as dapper in them as Kevin Durant does in this picture tweeted by Kevin Love.
But more than the uniforms themselves, natty as they be, I love the effect the games have had on fashion–in collections, retail and magazine spreads. The June/July issue of Foam featured some of my favorite Olympics-inspired styling, not to mention a fantastic piece on British designers to know. Ever since I saw their “Undefeated” spread (pictured below) I’ve had to fight the urge to go into every American Apparel that I walk past and buy the entire stock of leotards and tube socks. Imagine them paired with this jacket and some Keds and that’s basically the outfit I’ve been wearing in my mind for the past week.
That and the uniform that these Australian lady Olympians wore in 1972 because I feel like this is what Margot Tenenbaum would have worn if she was the tennis prodigy. Also the Olympics clearly bring out the best in hats.
As I write, New York is doing it’s best impression of London with a torrential downpour beating at my windows–a sound I fell asleep to many a night when I studied abroad there my junior year of college. Though the recent viewing of season one of Luther had me convinced that since I left it’d become a city filled with nothing but depraved psycho-sexual serial killers, all of these London-centric features in the news are reminding me of everything I loved about living there, when for four months I was a trainer-head and my best friend wore a beret every day. We were before our time.
Over the past two months I’ve really become more aware of how powerful branding can be, which is something that as a journalism major in college I was constantly being told to be wary of, and therefore feel superior to. But I’ve come to appreciate the kind of creativity that is born of it, especially in a society where we’re so over-stimulated that a campaign has to be truly phenomenal to capture and hold our attention.
Two fashion brands, on opposite ends of the spectrum, that, in my opinion, are doing a fabulous job of branding right now are Gucci and J.Crew. Not only are Gucci’s “Forever Now” campaign ads featuring Charlotte Casiraghi exquisite, they’re cementing the connection between the green and red stripes and equestrian heritage of the house to the Gucci brand for consumers, while still incorporating Frida Giannini’s rock star aesthetic. For a luxury brand, that mix of royalty and history framed in easy opulence is pitch perfect.
Conversely, J. Crew, a mid-level brand that is increasing its global presence, has chosen not only to turn to blogging heavyweights Scott Schuman and Garance Doré to photograph its “Hello, World” feature, but to have them focus primarily on the arbiters of style in cities like Berlin, Hong Kong and Tokyo. The first installment felt totally refreshing while still maintaining brand consistency.
I also love the example being set by smart, creative women like Frida Giannini and Jenna Lyons (a personal favorite), who have their hands in multiple aspects of growing the reach and influence of these brands and are doing a superb job of it.