Tilda Swinton – Come to Michigan and bring your clothes
I wrote post after post from spring until summer, focusing on spring and summer clothes. My nerve failed me and I hoarded them. And here we are with fall looming and a bunch of posts in my back pocket about sunshine and shorts. No matter, I will share a few and move onto fall.
Just to be crystal clear – Traverse City, Michigan is a great place. It’s not a fashion wasteland by any means. It’s a cool town and while we might draw hard from LL Bean and Eddie Bauer, we also have tattoos far and wide, dreadlocks, hipsters and then a whole bunch of folks who could care less. Front Street has some great shops. Ella’s has all the skinny chicks covered with a hip and expensive selection. Backcountry Outfitters is here to stay and thanks be for that, but boy is that place frenetic. Must be all that focus on vigorous activity. Muriel’s is great for the slightly older crowd with bellies and a never-say-die style. But there is not a woman out there interested in fashion who couldn’t take something from couture clothing runway and up her game because of it. Even those of us who lean toward northern Michigan sensible. Is it easy? Of course not. You’re looking at the pictures thinking “What’s with the Cat-in-the-Hat hat?” Or “I can’t run around with my pants dragging on the floor like some bastard pseudo wedding train.” Or one of the more common reactions, “Huh?”
Let’s take a closer look at something from Haider Ackerman’s Spring/Summer 2012 line for some inspiration and to get ourselves juiced up and in a mood to debate. Read about Haider Ackermann here and see the complete collection here. What do you make of this?
The train of silk chiiffon in the back, while it does convey femininity and mystery, has to go. And what is it hooked to, anyway? The waistband? Or the shirt? Curious. We’ll never know. What I like about this for northern Michigan is the androgyny. There are lots of sporty types who have to clean up to go to Stella and could try a variation of this. What also works are the slipper shoes. If these are even being sold, they probably cost $400 but a nice Tom’s shoe would do the trick. Or Keds. The reach here, and what you could try for, or simply consider is the cuffed pant in a bright color. If you’re high on oats or haven’t eaten for days while you do the lemon juice/maple syrup cleanse, you could try the satin. Not that you’ll find the satin in town, but it’s something to strive for.
How cool and comfortable would you be in slightly slouchy cropped pants, bright color, let’s remove the red/gold/cream paisley top (that I dearly hope is made of a sinful silk, the kind that sends a shiver across your skin as you reach for a fork, the kind of silk that makes you want to take off your bra), but we need something underneath. Your best white T, maybe? Or a cowl neck tank in cream? We leave the jacket, though, both the shape and the ripe color. You should push the sleeves up, flash the lining. Keep the accessories simple. By removing the top, you could add a monogrammed necklace, or maybe red ball earrings. A big gold watch. Or layer leather braided bracelets and wear fake diamond studs.
It could work, couldn’t it? Of course, you can’t buy what you see here. But this isn’t about that. This isn’t a lesson in money management or thrifting or help in where to buy things. It’s a lesson in looking, in parsing, in attempting. And lest you get offended by my tone or pronoun choice from time to time, remember that the person I encourage, badger, and pester in these posts is me. It’s my game that needs upping. It’s my sensibilities that need expanding. I want you to come along for the ride as I force myself to think away from the triangle of black/gray slim skirt, white or blue t-shirt, and silver earrings. And there will be sewing. And failing and sewing again. And some shopping. I hope it’s fun and not torture. We’ll see. And every post won’t be this long.