In a world where the fashion trend turnover rate is at an all time high, I've always been fascinated by those "forever" pieces in my closet– the ones that stand the test of time and cultural waves. No matter if the magazines say it's the season of ruffles or florals or punk or 1920s flapper girl meets the 2000's low-rise jean catastrophe, I end up instinctively choosing these pieces to wear. The looks we see on the runway every season are works of art, innovation, and creativity, and it is important to give credit where it is due. But often what we mere fashion industry outsiders wear is not based on what models sport on the catwalk. It may be based on functionality, culture, our workplaces, personal preferences or even emotional attachment– but usually it tends to be a unique balance of these factors and more. So in thinking about these timeless pieces for myself I ask: what are those pieces that I always gravitate towards (and seem to gravitate towards me), the ones I simply cannot let go of? What will my children and their's discover of mine once I've passed and they are opening up the old boxes sitting in their attic?
There are perhaps only one or two pieces I own that I can say fit this categorization. I'm a guilty participant in the quick, fast and cheap fashion supplied by the immoderately trendy stores on Broadway and Oxford street. The student in me sells for a small reward, and the big sister in me keeps bags of clothes to pass on to the younger girls within the circles of my friends and family– all to deal with the high turnover in my closet that mimics the current double tap-paced nature of the fashion industry.
This sweater is one piece that I could never see myself altering or giving away. In more ways than one, it violates the fashion "rules" I've been taught: the sleeves are too short, it's pilling, the hem hits me at the widest part of my hips, and it's a pretty stereotypical Christmas sweater I've worn on every day of the year other than December 25th. But I don't care. This sweater was bought from the overly gentrified Brooklyn Flea market when I first moved to New York City as a freshman in college, symbolizing a time of newfound freedom I had never before experienced. It required some haggling to get a decent price on this thrifted fox hunt sweater (there is no fox though, so I'm assuming he/she got away) as well as a few hours de-pilling and hand washing to get rid of the smell. But after the initial efforts this sweater soon became my uniform for those days I was in a time crunch. As much as the morning ritual of putting something creative together is my ultimate form of therapy, there are many times that long nights of completing my professor's problem sets cut into that sacred time of day and I need a default to feel good in. Whether it be exams or awful 8 AM classes or club meetings or college parties, this sweater has seen it all over the last four years.
I would hope that this sweater and a few other items would be found in the old boxes I mentioned before. Perhaps some sky-high heels, an oxidizing red liquid lipstick, and a pashmina scarf that smells faintly of either LUSH products or Kenzo's Flower in the Air. But then again, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I'll look back at this post in three years and cringe at what I was wearing (which is what usually happens when I look back at my looks), and wonder why I put it up for the entire internet to see. And perhaps my children will laugh at the thought of having to go through boxes to see who I was as a 22 year old New Yorker, when they can just read my blog online.
Lip - Maxfactor
Jacket - Hongdae
Sweater - Brooklyn Flea Market
Jeans - Uniqlo
Shoes - Topshop
Photography by Matt Lesman
*I promise to stop talking about sweaters now*