Just read it, already, if you have not: Cathy Horyn on the reality of grown women's choices, in an article titled "Sign of the Times/Slave No More".
(Sidebar: See also the insightful posts by Déjà Pseu of Une femme d'un certain age and Janice Riggs of The Vivienne Files on aspects of this article.)
For me, Horyn's standout statement was, "By now, I suspect, most people know that the purpose of runway shows is entertainment, and to create a feeling of desire. They understand that the main interest of high-fashion companies is economic rather than aesthetic."
There is a political stance in Horyn's piece (which bravely nips the hand that feeds her); she is subtly pointing to what happens when we refuse to be a mindless consumer, told we never have enough or look right. Those messages contribute to making women passive, insecure, and broke.
Last week, I dropped by a luxury store to admire the spring Céline collection, and can't remember when I saw such understated quality hanging on a rack. (From Horyn: "Probably no one defines the modern sense of comfort with more authority than Phoebe Philo of Céline.")
Even while I reeled at the price tag, I could see buying these clothes, because the beauty did not mitigate the comfort, and vice versa.
Instead, though, I took a fitted, lightweight down jacket by the French brand Gertrude, that I was happy to find on sale. Its pungent coral will look like spring while it's still chilly in Montréal.
The piece comes squished into its stuff sack, useful for travel.
I'll wear it with straight-leg jeans, an off- white v-neck.
My stylish, globetrotting friend Christine just bought two pairs of killer shoes (well, technically a shoe and
a boot) whose material is red velvet! The heel of both is low, combining mad chic with walkability: she hit the Horyn sweet spot.
But they are not made for puddle-jumping, so I will be in purpley-blue Bogs "Harper" rain boots, a weather-friendly version of what Horyn calls "an almost boyish uniform of slim-cut trousers, pullovers and flat shoes."
For a little zhuzh, maybe those eccentric South Sea pearls, or a triple rope of greys with a vintage clasp and a big ring or two.
Christine thinks pearls are boring; actually I think she said "Pearls bore the tits off me", but we were having cocktails and besides, she's entitled to her opinion!