High-Fashion on the High School Income

High-fashion fads are often considered inaccessible and irrelevant to the average individual’s wardrobe, but applying these assorted trends is far easier than you may expect.


For Girls

Glam Rock Meets Grunge\
Many of last fall’s Spring Ready-to-Wear collections from the world’s high-fashion industry were populated with references, some perhaps subtle, while others far more blatant, to the new ‘it’ trend in casual wear: Glam Rock Chic (i.e. ravaged, acid-wash jeans, studded, patent leather shoes, etc.). The collections of both new brands and established fashion houses alike presented looks that carried particularly overt suggestions toward the trend, from the popular Rag & Bone to the more demurely reputable Balmain. At Balmain in particular, where head designer Christophe Decarnin has a fairly edgy vision for the house, the collection was a bold ode to the grungy elegance of studs, shamelessly sequined mini-dresses and rip-torn, bleached skinny jeans. The look is not only vogue but also particularly pertinent in these times of gloom and doom. What says “screw the woes of the economic downturn” better: Depression-chic or perfectly distressed, acid-wash jeans? I’d say the latter. Get yourself a vintage jacket or a blazer that evokes the broad-shouldered confidence of the 80’s, albeit in moderation. Pair such a jacket with acid-wash jeans and strappy heels to evoke the trend. (Note: please avoid pumps at all costs, as that would push the gimmick to an unfortunate extremity).

For Girls

 

– Accessories – Off the Cuff
An even more obvious trend in women’s wear these days are bangles. All kinds of bangles: be they gold, silver, studded, plastic, copper, jeweled, spiked, multi-colored, singularly tinted… The list goes on. The trend is particularly pertinent in times when such jewelry reads confidence and strength. There’s a reason why many designers have been revisiting their kitschy 80’s styles in their collections rather than turning to the perhaps more obvious economic-downturn-appropriate look: woeful 30’s Dust Bowl refugee (i.e. dowdy gingham dresses, worn leather shoes, heavy hosiery – morose, pitiful looks). It’s a matter of simple logic: do consumers want designers to cater to their unfortunate financial circumstances in style or do they want looks that suggest a defiant vigor under pressing conditions? Assemble a collection of varied cuffs to enhance your outfits at your leisure. These days, any cuff is a good cuff.

For Guys

 

– Accessories – Nerd Gear
Now I know many of you may get riled up when you see an individual sporting glasses without any obvious purpose. Hold your fire for a minute while we explain. Sunglasses are not always worn for their given utility, no? So, knowing that sunglasses are not reserved for solely utilitarian practice, isn’t it fair to say that, perhaps, glasses could be accessories as well? And, besides, dorky reading glasses look good. Seriously, those spectacles that your mom or dad wore in old photographs? Totally in, totally relevant, totally chic. Designers ranging from the established John Bartlett to reigning menswear ‘It Boy’ Thom Browne to Marc Jacobs himself, have all paid ode to the wonders of reading glasses. So why not take the trend and make it your own? It’s already trickling down from purely high-fashion to average consumer as evidenced by Urban Outfitters’ new line of faux-reading frames. But don’t be lame: try to make it your own by looking for a vintage pair; that’s where the true originality lies.

For Guys

– New Wave Vs. Hip Hop
The look (think skinny trousers or jeans, plaid/striped/bright button-up shirts, and high-top sneakers) is basically the lovechild of Mark Ronson’s post-new wave, hipster panache and Kanye West’s ultra-arrogant, hip-hop cool. Skim the recent Marc by Marc Jacobs menswear collection for Fall ’09 to get a good picture. It’s the perfect combination of Ronson-esque chill and West-like egocentricity. The trend is particularly useful in that it can be applied to both formal and less reserved environments: to create a more proper appearance, simply add a bow tie (keep it small). It’s an easy, fresh and quirky way to heighten your look.

The Pitch singles out several particularly significant current trends and illustrates how to factor them into your personal style-without breaking the bank.

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