I vividly recall my first carpet bag. Bright and bulky, this particular carpet bag could hold up to four textbooks, several notebooks, one bag lunch, a small cosmetic bag, and a lightweight jacket, if necessary. The mere sight of my bag’s sprawling dark maroon, hunter green, and persimmon orange paisley pattern would frequently incite disdain, curiosity, and only rarely appreciation in the hearts of my pubescent peers.
“What are you, like, a bag lady?”
“Hey, Annie, did your grandma get that for you?”
“Cool purse!” (Sarcastic.)
Shortly after I started sporting my textured satchel, I developed an affinity for questionable plaid blazers (worn over my favorite Saves The Day concert tee – again, questionable), orthopedic sneakers (always in excess at my neighborhood thrift store), and “granny” glasses (the bigger, the better). With each day came more and more mocking remarks from my generic classmates, which fueled my desire to dress differently from them even more.
But why am I launching into a sappy capsulization of my seriously average high school experience? Find out after the jump.
This amazing editorial from Pop Magazine, entitled ‘Spent,’ shows two beautiful, youthful ladies (Jessica Stam and Lily Cole) dressed to the nines in florals, plaids, tweeds, furs, and bouclé. Vanessa Reid’s styling, combined with the photographic finesse of Paolo Roversi, successfully conveys the idea of “grandma chic,” and honestly, I couldn’t be more pleased.
For those of us who commingled heavy blazers and Pendleton skirts with embroidered handkerchiefs, Avon cocktail rings, and our grandfather’s leather briefcase, made roughly thirty years before our birth, this editorial serves as a testimony that sometimes, it’s okay to be ironic. And just because you experimented, or continue to experiment, with overtly traditional (dare I say, matronly?) fashion choices doesn’t mean you aren’t capable of being a trendsetting fashionista. Of course, neither Stam nor Cole look the least bit matronly – their demure, dreamlike disposition only makes them more alluring, their clothes more desirable, and their imaginary circumstance more attractive.
I love all the perfectly executed aesthetic decisions which come together to create this flawless editorial, from Lily Cole’s precarious pose atop a stack of vintage suitcases to Jessica Stam’s cat eye specs. The stark background and washed-out, vintage presentation vividly accentuate the impeccable fusion of varied colors, textures, patterns, and prints.
When I first saw this spread, I immediately envisioned a detailed backdrop and story to complement these somewhat melancholy photos. I saw Jessica Stam, lounging in her antique tapestry chair, sitting in an empty mansion furnished in mahogany and marble with a small Yorkshire Terrier purebred, her only companion. Oh, and poor Lily Cole – where is she going? Her bags are all packed, she’s ready to go. She’s standing outside the door of her first floor apartment, wondering if she remembered to turn off the stove. For the flight down south, she decided to wear her floral blouse because hey, where she’s going, the flowers are always blooming and vibrant color is the norm. She’s wondering if she made the right decision, especially because the scent of her husband’s old blazer makes her nostalgic for her comfort zone, for a life that has significantly changed.
The feelings it invokes, the tasteful color pops and immaculate styling, the undeniable talent of Stam and Cole, and the clothes, oh the clothes – this editorial is replete with likable qualities. An instant inspiration, this 16-page chromatic commentary is innovative and chic, traditional yet modern, a wistful visual masterpiece unlike so many other editorials of its time.
To see the full editorial, check out Fashion Gone Rogue!