Since the summer heat is still lingering, I decided to schedule in a shoot for this outfit because although the (almost-)midi-skirt is versatile for pretty much all seasons, the beautifully simple white singlet is, sadly, not. When I say "(almost-)midi-skirt", I refer to the fact that this skirt is realistically only a knee-length skirt, but i'm pushing it because this is my way of easing into a trend/statement piece that i'm not so confident about on my body. Hopefully i'll be able to bring up the courage to try a legitimate midi-skirt (fingers-crossed). Since it is still sweltering hot in Hong Kong, this outfit is apt for a casual-formal day out. The simple silhouette and the clean, brisk white of this singlet is the key to looking sharp, and at the same time, elegant/charming/all the good adjectives that come with looking clean and fresh - having this in mind helps with looking put-together even when the heat outside is unforgivably hot (and plus, brighter colors reflect UV radiation)!
Apart from taking cues from the flamboyant 60's this fall/winter, practicality is still the most important factor in my book, especially in the winter seasons, which is why Sacai's F/W14 ready-to-wear collection is one of the best collections to look into for the latter half of this year. Although this collection channels less of the 60's vibe, the movement of the pieces and the occasional pops of bright color can give you just the right amount of confidence and vibrance, which is the essence of 60's fashion (think bright pink dots and matching block heels).
Here's a little introduction to Sacai for those, like me, who haven't had the chance to look into the brand until recently: Sacai is a Japanese designer label started in 1999 by owner and designer Chitose Abe. She rose the label's profile in the industry through showing her collection, for the first time, at Paris Fashion Week in 2008. According to Abe's interview with Fashionista, she likes her designs to have a mix of the classics and the new, and while her designs do embody deeper meanings, she wants her pieces to still be very wearable. See for yourself!
Looking into the pieces, it is clear that despite the intricacy, the basic structure of the pieces are still very true to our everyday essential garments (i.e. large down coats, leather jackets, wool pullovers, etc.), thus allowing the wearability that Abe is dedicated to. Instead of playing with the bulk in the structure, she puts a lot of emphasis on the details of her pieces, which are extraordinary to look at. The textures and fabrics that are pieced together gives dimension to the pieces, as though they were layered on top of each other as different pieces, showing the seamlessness and thought behind her creations. Another detail that struck me as both intelligent and handy was the slit and the golden pin that were added onto tops matched with long scarves, as this addition allowed the end of the scarf to stay fixed in place (a good idea for a D.I.Y project), giving the perfect put-together look.
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Colder seasons give way to more elaborate ways of dressing, which always puts me in the mood for details and layering, which is in reality much less easy-breezy than the way Chitose Abe makes it in her collection, but thats what I love about Sacai's F/W/14 collection!
This may the 1000th post you read on the "social media" and its immense impacts, and I can't promise you that it isn't, but for me, the social media and fashion combined creates an interesting co-dependency that is often overlooked, at least by me, as they seamlessly work together, around the clock. The way I see it, trends drive the day-to-day business of the fashion industry, whether it is the defying/propelling of them. After the widespread use of social media platforms for marketing purposes in (almost - I can't be too sure) every industry, the fashion industry has used them for many purposes, both consciously and subconsciously. The conscious would include promotion, and the subconscious will be the topic of this discussion.
The prompt of this column piece came from Man Repeller's post "The Life of a Trend" with the header image of a woman in a chic turtleneck holding up a slipper-sandal/the Birkenstock in the same way Simba was held up in The Lion King. The article was less about the impacts of the social media, but more of the, almost inevitable, fate of trends:
"The style tribe goes crazy for the trend, then overdoes it, and as the peanut butter syndrome sinks in, the Thing of the Moment trickles out into the masses. Before long, that girl you hate from math class and her entire family tree has ruined your favorite bag that you once felt so cool for carrying. Or perhaps it was a style of jeans. Or maybe, per this summer's trendiest shoes and the storybook above, it was a pair of Birkenstock sandals..."
- Man Repeller
Consider trends one of the products of the fashion industry. Like any product, trends also have their own life cycle, from birth to death, and in our current society, social media platforms determine the length of this cycle. Of course, going without saying, these platforms will mean nothing without humans (us), but like any other great invention, tools help us to reach greater achievements. And how does this tool give us the power to determine the life cycle of fashion trends when the industry seems so out of our reach? This question isn't that hard to answer when you get into this line of thought, but, essentially, an account. As trends can catch on like a wildfire and extinguish just as quickly, you can simply tweet, instagram, or post anything that shows your interest/disinterest in the industry's current big thing to contribute to the uprising or downfall of a trend - congratulations! Although it seems harsh with the words "downfall" and "disinterest", it really isn't, because by the time the market for this trend has saturated and is starting to die off, another would've already been blooming, thanks to your favorite brand/blogger/magazine/youtuber/instagrammer (the list goes on). So basically, the rapid turnover rate of trends help to keep the industry new and creative with new blood constantly being reeled in, and old blood constantly being expelled.
How does this benefit the various social media platforms that want to stay alive amidst the jungle of many others? I guess with the increasing desire for ordinary people to voice their thoughts and connect with people with similar interests and ideas (or for some, to gain likes just for the sake of it), the demand for social media platforms, or any platform of the sort, will unlikely diminish.
As i'm handwriting the draft of this post in Starbucks and holding back the urge to Instagram my table setup (a cup of skimmed caramel macchiato, my black Moleskine planner, a pack of chips, and my note pad + Muji pen), i'm convincing myself that i'm not immersed in social media platforms and that i'm defying the current norm. I know, this sounds ridiculous because until some other technology as convenient, entertaining and informative is developed, I will still be attached to the social media, alike the rest of my generation, regardless of whether i'm handwriting this or not. Looking at the the big picture, I feel lucky that I am in some way attached to the social media, because as a being that holds very little existence, I am somehow writing this in full belief that even my words can contribute to something much bigger - an understanding, an idea, or even a change.
Thank you for bearing with me and reading this large body of text - I hope you liked it!