The Quirky-Cool Style of Your Favorite Art Teacher Is Back and Getting Rave Reviews
She was eccentric, had a penchant for bold jewelry and clogs, and let you play with Prismacolor pencils: She was your art teacher and she’s back! Or her eclectic taste is, at any rate. Replicated by creative women all over the streets (and on Instagram), the pastiche of color-blocking, bulbous earrings, and improbably architectural footwear has left the hovel of the upstate art studio and emerged as the uniform of some of the chicest patrons in the city. A voluminous floral smock is an easy go-to piece for a day of gallery hopping or a night of twirling on the dance floor to Kate Bush playlists. Whether cradling a glass of white wine at a poetry reading or pre-empting photo shoots on the streets of the Lower East Side, wistful long skirts and knee-high boots conjure up the elan of the evocative poetesses one studied in comp lit class. With sculptural earrings dangling from their lobes, their selfies recall Vermeer; the oversize (and, presumably, overflowing) totes they favor likely contain a journal, a change of clothes, and an Anaïs Nin book or two. Yes, a conceptual fashion renaissance has begun and demands the exacting eye of your former AP art teacher to pull off.
So why not not reimagine your closet as a blank canvas and start with the most inspiring pieces? See by Chloé’s velvet frill-sleeved frock recalls the dramatic work of the Old Masters, and Gray Matters’s Mildred Egg mule is the perfect low-heel footwear for a day of wandering through exhibitions. Lizzie Fortunato’s Ernesto earrings offer a fun lesson in color play and are a far cry from the macaroni jewelry you used to make, while Balenciaga’s Bazar leather cross-body bag is a stylish way to store away watercolors and that coveted Whitney Biennial invite.
How to Wear Bohemian Chic for Winter
It may seem difficult to find a sense of rhapsody amidst the bitter chill of winter, but one should look no further than one’s hippie friend. You know, the Marianne Faithfull look-alike who is quick to loop you into a conversation around the cannabis-infused chocolate she’s dying to make over the holiday season and the Big Sur camping trip she’s planned for winter break? Yes, if you haven’t noticed, this perennial free-spirit hardly ever seems affected by the inclement weather. Taking to dreary snowstorms and seismic blizzards with whimsy, chic, and a batch of mind-bending snacks, the eternal boho never lets winter’s dipping temps bring her mood or style down.
No sleeping-bag puffers or clunky snow boots for our little flower child: She’s more inclined to hit her local snow tundra like a ’70s goddess. Fluffy furs, floppy hats, velvet knee-high boots, and layering ribbed turtlenecks under her frilly frocks. It’s a look that allows us to tap into the feeling of warmer months better than any sunlamp could do. So try layering a vibrant pair of Johnstons cable-knit cashmere socks under Duro Olowu’s abstract bird-print tie-neck crepe dress, and give your winter a jolt of joy. Despite the sun setting at three in the afternoon, Anna Sui’s faux-fur coat can offer your day a bright spot, while Chloé’s swingy embroidered cape is the perfect outerwear to wrap up in. Looks like your hippie friend wasn’t tripping after all.
The Gentlemen’s League of limited-edtion print duffels are ideal for a weekend away. The leather hand-printed bags are lined with a herringbone tweed fabric and multiple storage pockets and signed and dated by the artist. thegentlemensleague.com; folio,
TOOL BAGS TURNED HAUTE ART TOTES ARE THE NEW “WHAT’S THAT BAG!” TO HAVE.
“Most of the time I get visions,” says artist Adam Razak. We are sitting in his Chelsea studio discussing the bag that he and industrial designer Seth Stevens will custom-make for me. Stevens, who’s refined the functionality of a standard tool bag so that it feels like a true fashion accessory, worked with me on my carrier’s size (small), hardware (shoulder strap, please), and leather color (white). Razak, who will next draw on the bag’s blank canvas, asks me what animal I identify with (the wolf), the flowers I favor (dahlias), and my zodiac sign (Gemini). In a little more than a week I’ll have a monogrammed, titles, and numbered one-of-a-kind tote to blow even a custom couturier away. Stevens and Razak call their label The Gentlemen’s League because, they say, their pursuit of art through fashion is a classically informed, collective effort. Everyone – their customers, their friends, the small-business craftsmen they work with- is party to the line’s creative success. Keeping production in NYC is vital. “It just requires a little more running around on my part,” says Stevens. Keeping the process personal is key. “I listened to Joni Mitchell all weekend,” Razak tells me when they deliver my bag (I’d told him that Blue was my favorite of her albums). The finished product is touching. Between the handles my initials are drawm in a heart-shaped lock; a number, 009, is stamped on the bag’s leather bottom; and inside there’s a card that reads, WELCOME TO THE LEAGUE.