It would appear that 2016 is the year of the girl gang. This particular zeitgeist is possibly best witnessed by a flurry of hashtags. Gone is the clique from the parlance of our time; all hail the gang. Perhaps this evolution is, in part, thanks to a very uncelebrated source: the Teddy Girls. In 1955, a British “rebel youth culture” emerged, wherein boys would mix posh Edwardian dandy attire with an (American) rock n’ roll slant. Out of this sensational subculture, called Teddy Boys, grew a league of suit-wearing, rockabilly women. An IRL band of working class teenagers, sloughing off the vestiges of post-war prudence.
These are the things I learn from Fashion Week. This is why, as a mostly unfashionable person, I pay keen attention to the runway shows of the world. They are as much history and art as they are popular culture, something I overlooked for many years. In the beginning stages of veganism and/or environmental consciousness, it is easy to turn a blind eye to the spectacle of high-fashion. Every beautiful outfit or concept is upheld by a stable of uncouth practices: fur, silk, animal-tested makeup, and leather.
My current vegan identity, however, would be nothing without the outside influence of Haute fashion and mainstream beauty culture. I take my favorite bits and bobs from each source and turn them into my own ethical yet unique style. My latest obsession has been the fashion shows of last spring, which was actually 2016 Fall ready-to-wear. Some time later my brain will process NYFW’s Spring 2017 styles, but for now, it is all about fall:
First up, Tokyo.
Fashion House: Hanae Mori Manuscrit
This nearly two-year-old brand served up monochromatic realness in March that I am excited to emulate now, sans fur and wool. The show was peppered with draped and gathered details, grunge-y gold makeup, and dramatic prints.
Recreate the runway look for your every day by layering your favorite maxi dress with a long-sleeved blouse in the same color, preferably with a lighter or darker tone. Gather the blouse at the waist and tie with a gold hairband. Sweep gold eyeshadow all over your lid, up into the brow bone. For your lip look: try Axiology’s Bad, a burnt chestnut with a copper tinge. Gently pat gold pigment on the center of your lip.
Fashion House: By Malene Birger
New creative director Christina Exsteen presented a line that recalled old Hollywood glamor with a more wearable, office-appropriate twist. If you have trouble layering without becoming a marshmallow, as I do, take a look at this show. Tip: Places with the harshest winters have overcome the warmth/style dilemma, we can only hope to catch up with time.
Recreate the runway look for your every day by wearing a turtleneck under your favorite low-cut sweater to work. The turtleneck featured above has a bit of sparkle. Pair the look with a large, angular earring. For your lip look: try Axiology’s Worth, a bittersweet red with undertones of warm tangerine.
Now, the United States.
Fashion House: Rodarte
For the longest time, for whatever reason, I was under the impression that Rodarte was a French brand. But it is, in fact, an American company created by two UC Berkley graduates, Kate and Laura Mulleavy. The label derives its namesake from their mother’s maiden name, which is actually Spanish.
This remains my favorite fall show. It was a celebration of the brand’s 10 year anniversary; a perfect balance of grit, fantasy, and nostalgia. Highlights included high-sheen leather, sequin and lace detailing, and sheer peek-a-boo layers.
Recreate the runway look for your every day by thrifting a shiny, pleather jacket from your local resale shop. Pair it with a choker and silver earrings. Conversely, layer your go-to little black dress with a sequin, sheer shell. Can’t find one? Check out bargain vintage shops, even Goodwill’s. Find a gown you love and begin harvesting the outer shell, the silk slip, and anything else you can salvage. Sweep a subtle, cream shadow in Ecru or Camel over your lip and build a strong brow.
Rodarte’s lip creation is not quite black, with brown and red undertones. For your lip look: try layering Axiology’s Existential, a matte obsidian tone, over Dimension, a burnished brown balm.
And of course, Gigi.
Fashion House: Miu Miu
The Italian brand did not disappoint this spring, upholding its reputation as a cool girl favorite. Designer Miuccia Prada - yes, that Prada - began the company in 1993, branding it with her childhood nickname. This fall collection was an exciting juxtaposition of heavy, dark tapestry-like fabrics and light fresh makeup.
My favorite look was worn by blossoming supermodel Gigi Hadid. I love it because it is so easy to recreate with vintage, making use of jackets and fabrics (maybe even curtains) that you would normally look over at your local Goodwill.
Recreate the runway look for your every day by pairing a heavily patterned blazer or jacket with a denim button-up. Try a slick hairstyle like a high ponytail or the “wet look”, modeled by Hadid above. The make-up is very spring-inspired, dewy and light. For your lip look: apply Axiology’s Identity - a cool pink - to your lips and cheeks using your fingers. Finish with a light sweep of Intrinsic, a sheer and shimmery balm.
Lastly, one of my favorite ethical fashion brands.
Fashion House: ace&jig
This season, founders Cary Vaughn and Jenna Wilson drew inspiration from…Teddy Girls! Ace&jig’s signature textiles fused with this dandy, 1950’s aesthetic is so refreshing and fashion forward. I’m beyond elated that the brand behind this look is concerned for the environment. The color palette is rich and perfect for fall, without being stereotypical. The collection is a smart mix of mustard, cornflower blue, brick red, and a few hints of cream and pink.
Recreate the runway look for your every day by mixing and matching different kinds of flannel. Capture the Teddy Girl look with longer hemlines and buttoned up collars. Accessorize with a hat and loafers. Finally, smoke out your lash line with a matte brown eyeshadow. For your lip look: try a golden, orange color like Axiology’s Virtue. Or, aim for something more subtle with Instinct, an understated nude with a sandcastle glitter.
Now, where do you find style inspiration?
Tell us your favorite look below!
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