Alternative titles: Puffy, The Manpire Slayer; Errybody in Da Club Gettin’ Puffy.
Happy 2013! How does it feel to know that while the majority of your fondest memories still live in deceased years, you will never again live in them, with them, too? Lol, jk.
Today in trends worth trying: puffer vests. And why? Because it’s cold and we are human and sometimes, sometimes, practicality deserves to prevail. While I can’t offer much historical fashion context other than a recent photo of Garance Dore from Fashion Week, my having seen Cynthia Rowley sport a really great pseudo-garbage bag in the flesh while walking through the West Village last month, and the Comme Des Garcons ethos at large, there is something rather telling to be said on the meteoric shift from form-flattering, well-suited outerwear, to that of the over-sized, quite literally fit-for-a-man variety, and then to the eventual arrival at, don’t hate me, urban swag, yes, swag, by way of what’s puffy. Twitter suggests that most, if not all of you, want to see “swag” die in 2013 but I can bet real tax dollars that it ain’t going nowhere. As a matter of fact, I predict it may usurp chic’s throne–and you know what? I don’t hate it.
I lied about the history bit, there is context. This is it: the wedge sneaker of 2011 lent itself to fall deeper into the urban trap that would inevitably leave us (me) wearing the truer spirit of athletic wear, see: them Nike Blazers. And with the sneakers came the complimentary paraphernalia. An awkward moment it is when you find yourself walking through Nolita, wearing a flat brim Billionaire Boys Club cap and a puffer vest you fished out of the American Apparel outlet store. A man looks at you while he rides his skateboard–obligatory boom box over shoulder, paying homage to Biggie–and offers you the wink of recognition, familiarity, and approval. You want to requite the wink but all you can offer in return is simply that you are a well suited poser, finding shelter for your head in that hat, and warmth in that vest. But isn’t that effectively what fashion is? Tangible escapism.
Five years ago, I wanted to be Audrey Hepburn. With my maniacal burping tendencies and reluctance to forfeit cursing, the only way I could achieve that was in pearls. Two years ago, I started my journey to worship at the French altar. While my accent will always be lamentably American and my collar bones will never be quite boney enough to compliment the blunt neck cut I’ve already impetuously indulged in, the inexplicable money I spend on overalls and Isabel Marant is enough to satisfy what once felt like impenetrable hunger. And now, I just want to look like a little boy who grew up next door to Kanye West. I know light green palazzo pants won’t get me there any quicker but bare in mind that it was just five years ago when I wanted to be on the opposite end of this self-procured spectrum. And isn’t that what style is about? Converging the past you with the present you in hopes that you might come upon a far greater, future you, question mark? Sometimes writing out punctuation is the best way to end a thought.
Here are some vests for your clicking pleasure:
From top left: Army green Gant vest, Comme des Garcons cascading garbage bag, Lucky Brand red vest, Moncler teal vest (equipped with fur stole et al), Lacoste Kids two tone Miike Snow vest (I’m calling it that because it’s Black and Blue and once again, my jokes are cheesier than Roquefort). Forever 21 purple vest, red and black plaid Timberland vest, Green and orange Polo Kids vest and finally the one that ties it all together: Theory’s Courchevel vest–obviously made for the French Alps and people like us. Cut to fin.