Off the Western Fringe
One thing fringe is not is on the fringe.
I have been a fan of ornamental border ever since my pupils have been active enough to watch it sway erratically. And maybe that’s because of my predisposition to the dangly finish — my father is Turkish and the son of a woman who has literally cloaked her entire home (and cell phone) in various degrees of the separated particles of fabric.
And see, no one if not a denizen of the Middle East (going forward to be referenced as an original gangster) understands the art of a jingling pillow, or couch, or ornament quite like my grandmother does.
Yet somewhere along the way, I became so indelibly American that fringe lost all its near-European zeal. It became an emblem not of the heritage I’ve only heard about yet still call my own, but of the Wild West — or what MGMT once sang as “The Western Fro-ho-nt.”
Don’t get me wrong, though. There is nothing wrong with looking Western. Particularly right now, on the tail end of Isabel Marant’s grand bohemian moment and fresh off the heels of Chanel’s Metiers d’Art show in Dallas. It’s just that some days I want to put on fringe, look in the mirror and think not of Will Smith’s 1999 character as Captain James West but rather just…Hi grandma, how am I doing?
Lucky for me, the Spring/Summer runway season was chock full of feckless fringe (case in point: Derek Lam’s incredible silk neck scarves, Junya Watanabe’s bomb ass patchwork jeans, Reece Hudson’s globe of a clutch) that appeared in fibers independent of suede and practically begged to be utilized as a model for the everlasting credo of More is More.
So much so, in fact, that even the most western of beige suede fringe coats could lose its derivative properties when mangled (or is it blended?) with the full, ridiculous(ly awesome?) look. Consider the jacket acid and the rest of the fringe alkaline because when enmeshed, they all but cancel each other out and leave you (me?) thinking not of the anterior Smith but rather, finally, grandma! Hi. How am I doing?
Your turn. Here’s some stuff to kick start the partay.