Buy and Hold: A style star steps aside
The photographer, illustrator and author Garance Doré left a highly-visible role as a photographer and blogger because of burnout and disillusionment with the fashion industry and its nonstop demands. She spoke of her rise, crash and recovery in an interview in L'Officiel late last year.
|Garance Doré and Scott Schuman, 2011|
Doré was first noticed around 2008, when part of a talented and glamorous couple with photographer Scott Schuman of The Sartorialist. She impressed me as the more broadly-talented: besides photography, she produced fashion illustration and wrote a well-observed blog— all while looking like a million in any currency.
Six years later, she was on her own, but still a front-row fixture, a fashion influencer writing about an event-and-appearance-packed life, from Cannes to New York.
She resigned from that life over the past year and a half, and says, "I rarely buy. I’ve talked about “eternal creations” for many years and that’s still my philosophy. It’s important for me to find things I love and wear them over the years. I’m not killing myself in search of sustainable brands because, as I told you before, I’m not sure all the messages equate to real results."
Time to call in Mr. Buffet, our guru, again. On the topic of longevity, he concurs: "If you aren't willing to own a stock for 10 years, don't even think about owning it for 10 minutes." Bingo, Mr. B.! We'll just substitute "skirt" for stock.
Some items fall outside this rule: we'll be replacing lingerie, active wear and shoes more often. But consider how long your mother or grandmother expected a dress to last—and I will bet the answer was not one year.
When talking about a closet clean-out, Doré mentions divesting "clothes I bought too fast because they were so cheap." The obvious reason to avoid fast fashion is because it's not durable (or if it is, i feels like wearing a poly bag), but she refers to another drawback: low prices support impulse buying.
Buy and hold picks
I am not dressing the window so that you will buy these, but as examples of clothes that will skip though years with you. All are from The Outnet—why not benefit from some good markdowns?
Left: DKNY belted trench with faux-leather trim and a rather thrilling yoke; price $US 110 (also in black). Washable! DKNY coats are well-made for the price. I can't guarantee ten years in this lighter colour, but it should give good wear.
Top right: Iris & Ink "Carey" lightweight wool sweater; price, $US 110 at The Outnet. Hand-washable, with just enough detail in just the right place. Limited sizes; also available in ecru with white piping.
Bottom right: Alice+Olivia broderie anglaise gauze blouse. Someday soon you'll go somewhere, and a pretty blouse is pure charm with everything from jeans to a satin slip skirt. Price, $US 168.
Doré also said her closet sweep included discarding her "essentials" that had become "old and sad without me realizing it." For her, such items are her signature shoes: Gucci loafers and Rondini "Tropezienne" sandals.
These Cole Haan "Cloudfeel" All-Day loafers in multicolored snake have a Gucci-esque glamour but lower price; $CDN 195.
Snuggling up to the Happy Goat
I took Mr. Buffet's advice about buying blue-chip essentials when a seriously good deal pops up. In April, Bompard had a two-day flash sale, with discounts up to 60%, the best I've seen in years. Mr. Buffet says, "Opportunities come infrequently. When it rains gold, put out the bucket, not the thimble."
|Issue #23, Spring and Summer 2021|
And speaking of buying, I pounced on the spring copy of The Gentlewoman, the only fashion magazine I read. Despite ScarJo on the cover, The Gentlewoman also profiles women from diverse occupational fields; scientists share an issue with entrepreneurs, athletes with politicians. The focus is on their work, and the accompanying portraits often show them dressed in some of their own clothes and jewellery.
Doré sad that after her closet cleanout, she was left with "mostly jeans and tees until I get inspired again." She may be contentedly calm (she lives in Wellington, New Zealand with her partner, actor Graham McTavish, and his children) but still has her artist's eye.