It’s a beautiful thing to be a little tacky. Historically, the word causes faces to cringe and chins to drop as eyes survey their body’s choice in wardrobe or interior design or floral arrangements. “Am I tacky?” you may question yourself when the two syllables are dropped nearby like a glittering microphone.
But here’s a better question to ask: are you happy?
If the answer is yes then your wardrobe is blessed, because tacky is an adjective that could save us all.
Milan street style has never shied away from the magpie’s aesthetic. It refutes that famous bossy block quote’s advice to “remove one accessory before you leave the house” and then asks, “Who told you to chime in?”
Attention block quote: that was a rhetorical question.
You see, the industrial backdrop of Italy’s fashion week capital acts as the perfect canvas for seasoned yolo-dressing. Where the cities of New York and London and Paris compete with its designers and street style stars (shamelessly boasting their yellow cabs, red phone booths and sprawling gardens while decked in year-round Christmas lights), Milan relaxes onto a wooden bench and allows its citizens and visitors to command the attention.
If New York was a bold fur coat and London a set of stacked rainbow brogues, then Milan is a neutral suit with hems just short enough that when one leg is crossed over the other’s knee, a pair of bright yellow socks are exposed and shock the system.
If Milan was an age, then it would belong to the kind of person who believes that age is just a number.
And if you were to assign Milan a trend, you’d have to pick a trend that loaned itself to more than one meaning. Like flare — as in the shape and the dangling, bangling excess
You could call it tacky. Tacky or happy. But when the words become synonymous and elicit collective joy from the wearer, the photographer, and the person who clicks through pictures on a screen, no one’s going to argue. Especially not with a magpie.