Sunday, 25 September 2011

Fashion, style, and the Fall trends

My 95-years old grandfather passed away this summer. He followed my beloved grandmother by a couple of years and their house, where I spent most of my childhood, is now empty. My mom has decided, for good reasons, to sell it, so that today I spent a few hours sorting through the things I would like to keep.

It was actually the first time I had gone through my grandmother's closet since her passing. I remember her as a woman of style, with her hair always perfectly coiffed and her makeup without a smudge. Her signature were her silk scarves, tied at the neck with a golden pin, worn atop a silk blouse or round neck sweater. She never wore pants, only pencil skirts, kitten heels (no lady of her time would have ever worn flats!), and a camel or fur coat in winter. Yet she never bought clothing of famous labels for herself. She treasured her Trussardi handbag just because I had gotten it for her one Christmas.

At the bottom of the chest in her bedroom I found this handbag, which is the best incarnation of her sense of style: a burgundy handheld frame bag, with matching leather gloves still tucked into the outside pocket. This encounter brought to my mind an article I read in this month's Vanity Fair, their 6th annual Style issue. It was an interview with fashion icon Ralph Rucci who, when asked what the difference is between Fashion and Style, said:
"Halston who was a genius, said: One season shouldn't be Field & Stream chic and the next season you're in Mainland China. That's fashion! Style never changes. It's a straight line. It's a refinement of the same vocabulary. Style takes you from day to evening, season to season."
Being bombarded by commercial messages on the latest fashion trends can, however, be quite distracting in one's quest for style. Indeed, what Ralph Rucci said could not be more appropriate for this year's Fall trends, which span from the forties to the eighties, and pretty much everything in between. How to chose what trends to follow, and to incorporate them in your own style? Think about who you are, and who inspires you. I know I will think about my grandmother.

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