Tuesday, June 3, 2014


I first wrote about the Stella McCartney Resort 2010 collection when it debuted. I fell in love with it on sight. The shots of yellow and red and green set against navy and black and white. The sparkle and shine that ran through much of it. The stripes. Five years later, I still think of it often, dream of it really. There are other collections that linger in my mind. McQueen and his chessboard. Jacobs and his Louis Vuitton carousel. Wang and his locker room. But this collection, presented to us in a stark, white space haphazardly filled with balloons and shoes, lives adrift in time in a way that the others do not.

For those who make this world their life, recognizing the age of a collection becomes something of a sport. There are always markers, sometimes deep and sometimes superficial, left behind by the season's dominant trends. Rare is the designer who can avoid them altogether. McCartney herself is susceptible to those shifts as such movement is the inevitable outcome of doing business. The fashion industry is about change, about keeping up and playing that game, and many who cannot keep up are left behind to fail. 

In the five years since the collection’s debut, a lot has happened in my life. I moved home (for the second time) and moved away (for the second time). I toiled for four and a half years in apparel retail. I emotionally grew out of many of the stores that dominated my adolescence. And I came to appreciate clothes not only for their beauty but also for their versatility.

In many ways, we are at peak “personal style”. We Tumbl and Instagram our ensembles. The personal quickly becomes the public and the once unknown become icons. In that world, where things now move more quickly than they ever have, change on top of more change is applauded. And I relish it. I love nothing more than to settle in every season and see what the designers have brought us, what thoughts have left their heads and become reality. To see who has created something magical. And to observe how those invited to take part in the spectacle choose to clothe themselves.

My own style story is written all over this blog. The thawing of my icy hatred of floral prints. My loathing for, and subsequent love of, suits. And here, in one collection of 56 looks, all of that distills down into something manageable. If asked what my personal style is, I can simply point you in this direction. It is deceptive in its simplicity and some might see it at as boring, but I see classics. Pieces that can be worn for years and styled for multiple ages. Items that will become well-loved. 

Even the jumpsuits play a part. They remind me of my mother. Of the photographs that live in our Boston home and contain portraits of her much younger self. Of the feel and the weight and the smell of her clothes, especially the ones that featured so heavily in my early childhood. She has always been much cooler than I. Although they would never be found in my closet, their presence here is a nod to her and to her influence over me. 

Even if that influence did nothing more than produce something of a polar opposite.

Photos via