The Mayan Calendar and John Cusack’s filmography may disagree, but I think 2012 is going to be a good year (but you know, if the world ends… this never happened). I’m excited for new beginnings, however literal or figurative they may be, but I’m also reflecting on the past year and the things I learned that I’m going to take with me, moving forward. I accumulated a few tips, tricks, and fun facts about fashion in 2011 to help you keep on keeping on, on your paths to sartorial bliss. Let’s discuss.
1. Mythbusting Fashion’s Holy Grail
The perfect pair of jeans: apparently, it’s the clothing equivalent of the Holy Grail, says every fashion magazine we’ve ever read. Impossible to find, and probably doesn’t exist (sorry, Dan Brown). Well, someone call the Discovery Channel because I’m going to bust that myth by introducing you to Genetic Denim and Rag & Bone/JEAN.
Hailing from denim heaven, Los Angeles, Genetic boasts the softest jeans in the industry, and on this promise, they deliver. They are so soft and comfortable I even wore “The Slim”, their high-waisted skinny to Christmas dinner — if that’s not ironic and miraculous, I don’t know what is.
Rag & Bone’s companion line, Rag & Bone/JEAN, offers luxury fabrics and attention to fit. This focus on quality and detail makes all the difference: the line features an assortment of cool washes and prints, a perfect fit, and they don’t stretch out (so say goodbye to saggy-bum).
My Rag & Bone/JEAN feather print skinnies. FEATHER.PRINT.
2. Alexander Wang: Sadistic Shoemaker
I love to hang out with my Alex Wang out, but fashion’s golden boy has some seriously sadistic shoemaking tendencies. Alexander Wang shoes are definitely a shoe lover’s must – they always have interesting details like ankle-to-floor fringe, leather capes, feathers, and exposed zippers, hence that cool factor we all love, but I learned (the hard way) that they’re also little pretty pain machines. My advice? It’s three-fold. Try before you buy. I’m talking to you, online shoppers. There’s a good chance you’ll need to size up, so track down a pair in real life and give them a go before you commit. When you do buy them, and wear them, have a spare pair of shoes ready to relieve you. Fight through the pain and keep trying to break them in. Also, you might want to consider bringing in an exorcist.
Me, my masochism and my Wangs (via Style Sightings)
3. Pussybows and Winklepickers: Awkward Fashion Terminology
Last year marked the debut of a few new terms in fashion I added to my repertoire, that I think you will enjoy: pussybow and winklepicker. Surprise! They have nothing to do with private parts and are perfectly safe-for-work. Use with caution, and enjoy!
A pussybow, is a large floppy bow tied at the neck of a blouse or dress, as seen underneath my horrified face, above. I have no idea why it was given such an unfortunate name. I’ve deduced that the pussybow being very ladylike was named after what makes a lady, a lady, but I tend to get Freudian about this stuff and am (most likely) wrong. But… ya know, it makes sense.
A winklepicker, actually has an interesting story, stemming back to the middle ages. No, it’s not a medieval medical tool used to torture men, but a style of shoe or boot featuring a long, pointed toe. Winklepickers have an extensive history (click here to learn more) but became really popular among both men and women the 1950s, and they are still popular today.
I’ve been wearing this pair by Thakoon on the reg.
4. Neon: Spring 2012’s Polka Dot
If you kept up with my sartorial pursuits during my New York Fashion Week coverage, you know that I took FW11’s polka dot trend to an uncomfortable level of wearing-it-too-much. My blog quickly became that place where polka dots went to die, and for this, I apologize. But while I was clad in dots and prancing (well, walking very slowly in my demon shoes: see #2) between shows, I started getting really, really, excited about the trends I was seeing on the runways, mostly, the really, really, bright ones. NEON!
Nanette Lepore SS12 (via style.com)
Out of what came from 2011 to bring into 2012, neon is the most pressing issue. There are so many ways you can brighten up your wardrobe with some neon, right now. These are a few of my favourite things:
PS. If you want a super easy how-to DIY a neon bracelet, click here.
And there you have it! I hope I’ve just changed your lives for the positive. I know, probably not. But if you’re looking for jeans, you know who to try, and if you’re spending a mini-fortune on shoes, you know how to make them work. You can also make people around you uncomfortable by telling them you’re wearing a “pussybow” and blind them with your ultra-on-trend neon wardrobe.
Thanks for having me FORA, see ya next week!
Niki Blasina is a fashion writer and publicist from Vancouver.