Still stuck on the idea that style maintains the supernatural power to allow us as individuals the ability to interchange identities, I thought taking one simple white dress and styling it in two separate ways might function as a proof of concept.
I bought Simone Rocha‘s tea-length eyelet short sleeve, high neck dress that comes with a skimpy micro slip at Dover Street Market when I was in London for Fashion Week. I wasn’t sure if I’d been drawn to it because I am historically enamored by white dresses (I’m still working through the precise, subconscious manipulations that drive our style choices,) or if because upon showing it to Emily, whose style is so sufficiently different from mine (her motto may go something like, “not black? Not interested,”) she loved it too.
Is that in itself a testament to its chameleonic nature?
I tried it on and resolved it was perfect–only if worn ironically, though. This meant combat boots to detract from its overwhelming femininity, or a menswear blazer/utility jacket to cloak that too. And when I got around to styling it for Man Repeller, it hit me that what could be a fairly fun story might frame the dress as a blank canvas being used to paint the pictures of two distinctly different individuals: a blogger and an editor.
If you’ve already flipped through the slideshow, I would imagine you’ve perfectly uncovered who is who but in the event YOU COME HERE FOR WORDS, cats out of the bag, the two styling routines discern the difference between how I believe a stereotypical blogger might style this dress vs. one of the old media, editorship variety.
In the first outfit, I’m wearing a jacket by Thu Thu over the Simone Rocha dress, a Eugenia Kim cat hat (which, too, is out of the bag), House of Holland sunglasses and Nike Frees. The vibe is certainly more fun, if only because of the use of color, and maybe that in itself is emblematic of the way in which we operate? I might be trying too hard to reel this one in.
In the second outfit, I’m wearing a Dries van Noten blazer over the dress, holding a Z Spoke by Zac Posen oversize clutch and wearing Proenza Schouler open toe sandal booties. While there is no question this look is indubitably more elegant, does it maintain an equal dosage of enthusiasm in comparison to the last one? Does it matter?
Which do you prefer? Frankly, I’m going with editor. Photos by Naomi Shon