Have you been keeping up with our Look of the Day polls? It’s our favorite way to share our latest obsessions, from fresh runway styles to looks we spotted on the street. It’s hard to play favorites, so we turn it over to you. The trends we were coveting this week? For starters, Monday had us feeling extra nostalgic for the nineties—Calvin Klein underwear is back. Since sporty activewear is still the cool-girl uniform of choice, it’s no wonder those thick elastic bands are popping up everywhere. Italian blogger and front-row regular Chiara Ferragni wore her classic sports bra under a sheer dress, an unlikely pairing that won your vote. On Wednesday, we dedicated our Look of the Day to Thor comic books. Marvel just announced the main character will now be represented as a woman, so we rounded up five of our favorite superhero-inspired runway moments of late. At Stella McCartney’s Resort 2015 presentation, models sported superhero-mask motifs on leather bags, jumpsuits, dresses, and even their nail polish. The cute, unexpected pattern was No. 1 in your book. What else was on Style.com editors’ minds this week? Models off-duty, Gisele Bündchen’s birthday, and summertime gingham. Click here to see all the winners, plus a few runners-up, for a full weekend of style inspiration.
When it comes to fashion, the red carpet can often be filled with the same old, same old. But now and again, some bold celebrities shake things up with experimental, next-level looks. Here’s what’s feeling fresh this week.
We’re halfway through steamy July, and this week, A-listers were looking for ways to stay cool on the red carpet. Luckily, the Resort ’15 collections (which won’t hit stores until November but have been popping up on celebs since their Spring debut) offer some crafty cutouts. We noticed a few stars beating the heat with dresses boasting built-in air-conditioning, if you will. Kate Hudson and Allison Williams tried the trend at a screening of Wish I Was Here on Monday in New York. Hudson was statuesque in a black Michael Kors Resort ’15 column with a sequin bustier, and Williams chose a ladylike Altuzarra Resort ’15 sheath. On Wednesday, Nicola Peltz stepped out in an ebony ensemble with a keyhole cutout from Balmain’s Fall ’14 runway. She paired a gold-embellished crop top with a banded leather skirt for the Rio de Janeiro premiere of Transformers: Age of Extinction.
Elsewhere, two of our favorite redheads got on board with one of Spring’s hottest hair trends, turning up on the red carpet with freshly chopped bangs. Jessica Chastain’s fiery fringe perfectly complemented her navy lamé Mary Katrantzou Fall ’14 gown, and Emma Stone sported hers with a flowy purple Dolce & Gabbana Fall ’14 look.
Last, but certainly not least, RiRi, ever the daredevil, surprised fans by turning up in an Alexander Wang LBD and a gold Givenchy-esque septum ring at an event in Rio de Janeiro after Sunday’s final World Cup match. We have to hand it to her, just when we think we’ve (quite literally) seen it all, she manages to surprise once again. Here, a roundup of this week’s red-carpet highlights.
Art-Teacher Chic: The Trend That Takes Oversize, Modest, and Comfortable Clothes Out of the Classroom-------
Trends are fun to talk about, but they don’t feel real until you see them, totally unforced, in the wild. I recently stopped by Poketo, a gallery-meets-lifestyle store in L.A.’s burgeoning Arts District. One of the most stylish women I saw there was wearing a chambray shirt so oversized it fell into an A-line, a pair of black ankle-length trousers, and clogs. Not the girlish, almost-pretty kind of clogs—the black leather orthopedic kind. Her style was practical, unfussy, simple. But more than anything, she reminded me of my fourth-grade art teacher.
Art-teacher chic—loose tunics, big ceramic necklaces, modest shoes—has become the go-to uniform for fashion-y women who are done with overdone.
“My assistant buyer always calls her style ‘art-teacher chic,’ so it has definitely been on my radar,” says Jen Mankins, owner of Brooklyn boutique chain Bird. “I like the idea of a 1970s Upper West Side art teacher—like Woody Allen’s second wife, Robin, in Annie Hall.”
It’s sort of always around, this art-teacher thing. “I feel there has always been an undercurrent of this look in the designers I work with, such as Rachel Comey, Suno, and Marni, as well as influential brands such as Prada,” Mankins says. “But more recently, I think a defining proponent of this trend has been Phoebe Philo at Céline, with her oversize coats, long skirts, big knits, and big flat sandals.” For Spring, Comey designed a denim apron dress that was hand-flecked with paint, as if the wearer had just spent three weeks in a pottery class. CP Shades, a three-decades-old line that deals primarily in loose tops and dresses made from natural fabrics, has been one of Bird’s top sellers this season—its chambray linen V-neck dress and tunic feeding right into the frenzy.
The idea was even more pronounced in the Resort 2015 collections, where both emerging and established labels presented their own versions of what an art teacher should look like. At Objects Without Meaning—a newish line out of Los Angeles—designer Alexandra Michelle paired her printed coveralls with long necklaces strung with ceramic geometric shapes. Acne Studio’s Jonny Johansson showed a purple V-neck dress worn over matching leggings—and sensible flat booties, of course. The Row’s mid-calf skirts, Enzo Bonafè oxfords, and cap-sleeve coats could belong to a faculty member at the world’s most elite private school. While Object Without Meaning’s Michelle says that she’s not thinking “art teacher” when she’s designing, “I definitely wake up in the morning knowing that I need to be comfortable today.”
Indeed, art-teacher chic is part of a bigger a movement toward relaxed fashion, whether that means couture sneakers or normcore jeans. But will women forgo their waists in droves to experience the ease of an art teacher’s uniform? “I think the style comes out of a desire to look and feel interesting and creative without being too masculine or overtly sexy,” Mankins suggests. Although that doesn’t mean she won’t tweak the look just a little by occasionally showing a slice of skin or swiping those clogs for stilettos. “Like most trends, it should never be executed too literally.”
Sorry, professional athletes, we love you for your achievements in sports, physical fitness, and entertainment, but you—the collective you—have terrible style. All the money in the world can buy you the help of a professional stylist and your pick from the department store floor, but you’d be better off if you never took off your uniform. Last night’s ESPY Awards were proof.
OK, there were some exceptions. Victor Cruz continued to take smart style risks without going overboard; Kevin Durant proved that it is possible for a 6’9″ guy to find a well-fitting tux; and Jarret Stoll’s classic look was practically refreshing. The women were spared the worst of it, mostly with cutouts and two-pieces that accentuated their physiques—Lolo Jones bared midriff, Maria Sharapova bared her long legs, and Sydney Leroux bared just about everything.
And then there was everybody else. Fans and media have gone to great lengths to turn today’s athletes into style icons. They get endorsements from fashion brands, front-row seats at runway shows, and glossy magazine editorials, but the truth is, it’s not panning out. It’s impossible to look at the red-carpet images from last night’s ESPY Awards without focusing on the struggle. And it begs the criticism because of the tremendous effort made: Brandon Jennings’ red blazer and what appeared to be sweatpants; Clint Dempsey’s too-tight black jeans and bulky Jordans; Steve Johnson’s saggy cowl-under-blazer situation; Metta World Peace’s untucked, oversize shirt under too-small blazer…The list goes on.
But let’s be fair, athletes face unique challenges when it comes to dressing. It comes with the territory of being built and trained to physically outperform 99.9 percent of the humans on Earth. They come in odd sizes, often too tall and too wide to buy off the rack. Clothes that would look “normal” on most look forced on, like an outfit pulled onto the wrong action figure by a stubborn kid. Athletes spend most of their time in activewear—their uniforms or the clothes they wear to train and practice—so formal attire has the effect of making an awards show such as this look like an awkward prom for students from different schools who are just meeting for the first time.
But who would want it any other way? Athletes are supposed to stand out. That’s why we love them. The ESPY’s red carpet may have been the playoffs for terrible dressing, but sartorially speaking, it was nearly as entertaining as actual sports.
This week, our collective conscience (and inbox) was overwhelmed by Paris couture. Between star-studded parties; hundreds of street-style pics; and, of course, the runway shows themselves, you could say we were a bit preoccupied. Our popular Look of the Day polls revealed everything we’re loving about the new collections, from the accessory you can wear now to the dresses destined for the red carpet. On Tuesday, for example, we took note of a couture mini trend: head scarves. At Giambattista Valli, models sported white bow-tied sashes that could surely help us all beat the heat this summer. The feminine, retro look was No. 1 in your book. First runner-up Marco Zanini also opted for head scarves at Schiaparelli, enlisting milliner Stephen Jones to design a luxe do-rag. On Wednesday, we took note of the stylish mommies-to-be spotted at couture, namely Ashleigh Good’s much-buzzed-about closing look at Chanel. It took first place by a landslide. What were we coveting on Thursday? Fendi’s new Karlito buggie, of course. It debuted on the Fall ’14 runways and has quickly become the fashion set’s favorite party prop—Alexandra Richards (above) gave the furry bauble a kiss on Tuesday at Fendi’s party. The Kaiser himself was even spotted carrying Karlito through the streets of Paris.
Click here to see what else was on our minds this week, plus all of the winning looks.