I would just like to begin my acceptance speech by thanking my fourth grade gym teacher who never thought it was strange that I insisted on running like a horse.
Thank you to my roommate for being such an amazing sport that one time you got hives when I forced you to come to the barn with me. A sarcastic thank you goes to my friends who never tire of singing that creepy R. Kelly song whenever I say I’m going riding. I’d like to thank Chinese Zodiac for finally giving my animal its time to shine, and last but not least, thank you Pre-Fall 2014, for validating my equestrian endeavors.
Design houses such as Hermès, Gucci and Ralph Lauren are known for their consistent reinterpretations of equine-inspired gear. Michael Kors and Chloé are never too far from a four-hooved nod, and the same could be said of Tommy Hilfiger’s Fall 2013 season. (The same could not be said of Hilfiger in the ’90s, but what a glorious and strange mash up that would have been.) It’s just that for a style so iconic, equestrian never seems to register as “cool.”
Until now, that is. Cue up your boombox to the party mixtape I made you then hold it over your head like you’re Lloyd Dobler in Say Anything, because it’s time to celebrate. What are we celebrating? Why am I giving a speech again? Oh, I don’t know, how about one fell swoop of a Pre-Fall season — and Chanel, Altuzarra, Alexander Wang and Band of Outsiders — for making the other half of my wardrobe a fashion statement rather than a horse joke. One small victory for man kind.
Now I can foot-gallop around the West Village with pride, daring the mounted police officers to give me tickets for A) topping the speed limit or B) looking too awesome. I can go directly from stable to table without being mocked by my less-than-equine-friendly-friends, and if anyone tries to come at me for wearing breeches to brunch don’t think I wont whip out a power point of the slideshow above to prove that all that neighs is absolute gold.
What’s important to note, and I say this with indignation, is that the Pre-Fall looks work because they’re not hyper-literal. It’s fashion out of context, comprised of nuanced cues from an English tack room: tweeds and tartan and buttery leather, but nothing so blatant that one could accuse the wearer of coming straight off a dismount. This is to say that I probably still can’t get away with passing off my barn clothes as an alternative to the Bowery’s all-black leathered uniform no matter how much of “a moment” this trend is having.
I have to interpret.
Do I wish I could walk around in my riding clothes and look just as cool as the models at Band and Altuzarra? Yes. Am I — despite earlier evidence to the contrary — aware of what is reality and what’s wardrobe fantasy? Yes. Fine. Maybe.
But does that mean I will ever stop fighting in the name of those who spend too much time around giant hay-eating mammals? No I will not, Pony Boy Curtis. And neither, I hope, will fashion. So, let’s shop.