Whenever I see someone wearing a cool outfit during fashion week, I always secretly wish they had a ticker tape on their forehead advertising the thought process behind it. What were they thinking when they put it together? What styling tricks were involved that might not even be apparent to the naked eye? Is it comfortable? Is it a go-to combination or a new adventure in wardrobe mixology? To satisfy my voyeuristic cravings, I asked Creative and Stylist Mecca James-Williams to narrate her aesthetic choices over the course of New York Fashion Week. Scroll down to see her outfits — and how they came to be. -Harling
I’ve been dying to wear this jacket from The Frankie Shop since I first spotted it on my shoot rack for The Zoe Report. I was planning to wear it mid-week, but came to the fast conclusion that waiting wasn’t for me — or this piece. Monochromatic Neutrals (aka. Stick of Butter, like Harling calls it) is right up my alley. I patterned my neutrals from jacket to shoe: from the cream Baserange top, tan Uniqlo high-waisted chinos, to my favorite Rag & Bone white boots. As for the magical hat, it’s from the upcoming collection of my best friend Sade’s accessory line EDAS (her name spelled backwards! FYI) — which I am really excited for!
Before walking out to my first presentation of the day, Nanuskha, I heard my mother’s voice in my head saying, “just because it’s fashion week, doesn’t mean it ain’t 27 degrees out. Dress warm!” From that moment, it took me exactly 14 extra minutes to get ready. I base-layered myself with heat-tech (well, technically I lathered myself with shea butter first, but you know get the point) and then I chose my statement item of the day: a big yellow cropped puffer. From there, I instinctually grabbed a PH5 striped knit that matched the yellow coat perfectly, and a Simon Miller baby blue bag that matched the knit. After donning a pair of wide denim and platforms, I was out the door, excited for my fun, bright outfit and day.
I have officially learned the art of how to wear a puffer without looking like a big, colorful blob. (More like a big, stylish colorful blob). For the third day of fashion week, I was super excited to wear this amazing top from Nigerian brand Orange Culture. I styled a look from the brand in my latest Nataal Magazine editorial and immediately fell in love with their SS19 Collection. I started with the printed top and paired it with my new North Face orange coat. From there I added warm elements including my purple corduroys and a bright white turtleneck. I then threw a forest green bag into the mix, to create my final look! (PS. I did try to add a vintage brown waist belt over the coat, then realized the belted puffer trend may be dead.)
I am not a sneaker girl, but love sneakers. I wear one pair into the ground for a span of months, then find another pair I love. I don’t have a closet full of the latest sneaker releases, but when I want a new pair — I am ready for the next best thing out. After wearing heels for three days straight, I was ready for something easier. I ran to the Nike store and found a neon pink pair that reminded me of a color I’ve been seeing on a lot of NYFW runways (i.e. Brandon Maxwell’s finale look), and knew I could make them work for my Day 4 outfit.
I spotted this archival Sean John hoodie on a work set, and knew it would come home with me. I needed it. It reminded me of the late 2000s fashion of my childhood. When it came to wearing it for fashion week, my approach was pure instinct. I immediately paired it with a blazer for some nice juxtaposition. I grabbed my most comfortable black boots and finished things off with a Nanushka fanny pack. (In hindsight, this outfit made me realize I am not into classic 80s fanny packs — not to be confused with belt bags, which I’m still experimenting with — anymore. But given that I was wearing my beloved Sean John hoodie, I didn’t let that detail bother me.)
I kept having a Carrie Bradshaw moment with this Jacquemus blazer at the cleaners. I meant to take it in to get tailored before NYFW and forgot. I attempted to drop it off between shows, but somehow kept missing their window of open hours. After a couple tries, I finally got it done. I’d been saving this bright orange Tibi knit to wear with it for the perfect color combination. I added a thick beanie because snow and big afro aren’t the best combination. The hat was another hit! I rounded the edges, creating a Marc Jacobs SS17 hat moment, and was out the door to my first show of the day.
As fashion week dwindled down, so did my unworn clothing options. My last statement piece left was this beautiful oversized (purposely, I bought it two sizes too big) denim jacket from Acne Studios. It’s one of those pieces that can stand alone and look good. I decided to wear it as a dress, no purse, just platform boots. And that was a wrap!