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18 Feb 2011

Fashion Victim: Don’t Wear White

Fashion Victim: Don’t Wear White

Ah, February. Beginning with the eternally pessimistic groundhog, rounding the bend with the world’s number one excuse to make you feel like a sad, single slob, and topping it all off with endlessly dreary puddles of grey-brown slush. If it weren’t for awards season (which, admittedly, I can never be bothered to watch, but which always results in a flurry of internet activity on Monday morning to see what everyone wore—seriously, Gaga, an egg-womb-vessel?) and the various fashion weeks, it would be intolerable.

Not that fashion week, ipso facto, doesn’t pursue its own logic of melancholy. Fashion is a fickle thing. It works on its own internal clock of consumption, ensuring that just as we approach the hot heights of summer we start hating hangover tanks and flourescents, longing for wool coats and uber-rich reads and purples and greys; naturally, when winter’s at its most bitter, we’re teased with the ethereal, floating fabrics, crayon-box brights, backless dresses and strappy sandals that will be de rigeur this spring.

Peter Som Spring/Summer 2011

Even though I’m dreaming of when it will be warm enough to wear shorts that show that much thigh, I always retain a healthy dose of contempt for everyone who wears things that show that much thigh. So consider me befuddled when, lo and behold, I come across pages and pages of sheer white blouses, shorts, skirts (maxis, no less), jackets, everything. This is seriously some stupid joke, right? Surely no one in their right mind thinks that this is office appropriate:

Jason Wu S/S 2011

Just as I was trying to sort my head around the famously stupid idea of the sheer maxi-mini—in any colour—(seriously who the fuck came up with this?), everyone decides to go into over-production of this particular disaster in the most unforgiving and STUPID hue of stark white. What next, head-to-toe white macramé for spring?

Emilio Pucci S/S 2011

I always speak too soon.

I get it. Of all thousands of super stark eyesore colours that will be spewing their multicoloured vomit from the depths of your local F21, the number one (most overexposed) on-trend colour was white. In any iteration, preferably in clean cut or sheer varieties. Of course, leading the vanguard of pure white minimalism, Chloé, Céline and Calvin Klein come to the fore. We’ve all come to expect this. Calvin Klein has been sending down totally de-tinted looks since before time began; Chloé did a beautiful ballerina collection of ultra-femme frocks with strong bodices, bitty waists and full skirts in the typical be-nuded hues; and nary a non-white separate could be seen from Céline. These guys almost get a pass. White and minimal is what we’ve come to expect from this lot over the years, so it kind of sucks that everyone decided to up and ape their steez—regardless of how notoriously un-spill-proof said steez may be.

Calvin Klein S/S 2011

Chloé S/S 2011 (photos from the cherry blossom girl)

Céline S/S 2011

And while there were some great contenders (The Row sent a pared-down, minimalized collection with a simplified palette of whites, blacks, and blushes with a few simple maxi dresses that might float beautifully off the skin in the height of sticky season, and Dolce and Gabbana, certainly a far cry from minimal, sent some texturally magnificent and ultra-hot lace minis that I simply love), the vast majority of white looks were just inexcusable. To wit, we get the pajamas-trend (scroll down to number five—’The All-Day Pajama’—and go get fucked) as relaxed, easy, breezy, sheer, wide-legged, and alarmingly white. Obviously no one has been paying attention. Lose the jacket off of this look from Reed Krakoff and you essentially get what I wear to bed at night, when I wear things to bed at night. Aren’t sweat pants (oh, I’m sorry, ‘luxury lounge-erie’—cough-cough-barf) banned from ever seeing the light of day yet?

Reed Krakoff S/S 2011

Same goes for my man Michael Kors. Lots of his collection wasn’t as woefully under-fabric-ed, but when you send the luxe equivalent of sheer terry down the runway you essentially get haute bathrobes. Just because they’re wearing belts doesn’t make it real clothing.

Michael Kors S/S 2011

And please don’t get me started on something as terribly betokened as all-white ‘Futuristic Militaristic’ (thanks again Refinery 29):

I guess my lasting concern with white isn’t so much the oft-abused ‘don’t wear white after Labour Day’ dictum. As far as I’m concerned white is never the appropriate shade. Unless you’re the bride, in which case, it’s overused. I don’t understand the appeal of a look that’s guaranteed to make it blatantly obvious how much you’re sweating, that ends up smeared with about fifteen layers of orange fake-tan or super-dark ‘sun-kissed’ concealer, that you can’t wear anything under lest your knickers take front seat to your outerwear, that you better not wear out in the rain, and that you can’t get drunk in for fear of spilling shit all over yourself.

womp womp.

Then again, neither do I understand wanting to dress up like a shiro cream puff, or anything at all prairie-inspired. So maybe this whole all-white thing should be left to the professionals. I’d rather keep as far away from it as I have from my virginity.

About the Author


i read a lot of books. you probably shouldn't take me shopping. i tweet useless observations @_arriving.



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