the scoop on fashion-forward fake-its + trendy shopping hints
Dear Sharon: My boyfriend recently split up with me. He wants to remain friends and has invited me to go with him to a music industry showcase event. The venue is fashionable, but quite bohemian, so I need an outfit that is sexy and cool, but not too dressy. My budget is not huge as I am a student at a drama college, but there will be people there I want to impress. Can you suggest any current trends that would be suitable? — Cool IQ (Sidcup, Kent, U.K.)
Dear Cool IQ: Wanna know a real secret to blow them away? It’s all in the styling, girlfriend.
Forget about current trends, fake next year’s best things right now. As soon as you can grab a peek at what was just shown during New York’s fall 2001 women’s fashion collections, all the runway tidbits that make the look ultra modern can be yours– if you are clever.
Today’s lightening technology transmits a trend faster than you can purr “hot off the catwalk” so waiting for the look to finally hit the stores is becoming terribly last century. Okay, so you can’t really buy the actual clothes until next fall, but you can get the knack to finagle theoffbeat nuances…
In a city where trends rush by faster than the downtown D train, and fashion stylist’s run amok (hey, I was one once) trends wait for no one. More important, part of “the scene” is being first to score the next new thing. So, start thinking like a NYC insider and before you know it, all those music industry people you are trying to impress will think you had the bucks to pay a stylist to bump up your cool factor. Keep a giant step above the herd by twisting the trend a bit to make the look personal.
Try cruising by some vintage shops and flea markets, boutique sale-racks, other quirky specialty shops, and the depths of your imagination (or closet) to really be fashion-forward. Lift up those sunnies, and scout out:
Skinny, high heel ankle boots hacked off right at the instep; boots are making way as the “new” evening shoe.
A wooly cut-off sleeve or wrist cuff, a single “legwarmer” for your arm. Hint: got a scissor? Get a sock, and riiiiiiiip!
Giddyup is gone and tallyho is here… toss the cowboy hat and pull up the jophers, western evolves to English equestrian.
Girls just want to have fun with vintage inspired Eighties trends- why wait to buy a new “designer” version when second-hand shops are overflowing with the real thing?
A lean-fitting tuxedo… the boy’s department is a great place to look, if you are small-framed.
Crack the stiff denim and recycle well-worn jeans.
Lot’s of attention to shoulders– particularly strapless and one-shoulder tops.
Anything with sleeve interest- slashed, full, and, even, leg-o-mutton.
Asymmetrical ruffles- not the ZsaZsa kind, the edgy kind.
A men’s crusher hat… Rex Harrison goes girly.
Bold, large, hanging earrings… or, just one.
Chunky low-slung belts.
Turquoise, red, and hot pink accents.
Done-up makeup- the girl next door never looked sooo hot.
Who needs Farrah, when there’s The Bangles and Catherine Oxenberg? How easy is Eighties teased hair gelled back on the sides?
What about that ex-boyfriend who wants to be friends? How do you feel about it? If the switch to platonic buddies is not absolutely mutual, you are wasting your precious time, self-worth, and emotions to be hanging on for any scrap of his attention. But, if you two are in complete harmony that you are better as friends than as a couple, then there is not a more wonderful alter ego than an adoring ex as a good friend. Style on.
Copyright (c)2001 Sharon Haver