A plaid constructed from the faces of Shanghainese women and men and drawings of hands: these are textiles from the world of Jean Paul Gaultier. But not this world, this time. Instead, this is the time of Jean Paul Gaultier in the 1980s, relics of which are currently to be found in the INA Soho racks. Faces - portraits really - and parts of the body, are the terms of expression. The blazers, skirt, and pants are made of cotton illustrations. And what better to accent an illustration than a bow, especially a silk Saint Laurent detachable one?
All merchandise, INA Soho:
Look 1: JPG vintage hand print dress with zipper neck, Rebecca Minkoff metallic clutch, vintage Alaia wool beret, Karen Walker black sunglasses, Sass & Bide headphones.
Look 2: JPG Cotton multi-colored faces blazer, Alena Akhmadullina leather striped miniskirt, Malo ribbed turtleneck, Lanvin patent leather boots, Zac Posen chain-link purse.
Look 3: Carven cropped light blue button-up, JPG cotton multi-colored faces miniskirt, Hermes relaxed mouse gray kelly bag, Marni slate and lime sunglasses, Louboutin pumps.
Look 4: Miu Miu black suede t-strap wedge, Rag & Bone ivory silk blouse with black piping, Saint Laurent silk bow, JPG cotton patchwork jeans, vintage alligator Jacomo maroon purse .
March is around the corner, and there is no time like the preset to think forward. INA Noho is thinking forward to spring, layering prints on top of prints to endless affect with a little help from the coolest kid in - and out - of school. Luckily for us, this young fashion star had some style advice to spare.
In a word, wear pink socks with open toed sandals. Leopard print on top of mermaids. And metallic paisley cropped pants with snakeskin oxfords.
All merchandise INA Noho:
Look 1: APC leopard print sweatshirt, Risto silk blouse printed with mermaids, ALC pinstripe blue and white pant, Belle camel leather strappy sandal.
Look 2: Reversible plaid wool zip-up cape, Marc Jacobs black leather boots, men's Comme Des Garcons ruffle button-down shirt, Warby Parker ivory framed sunglasses.
Look 3: Rachel Comey metallic leopard jacket, Band of Outsiders black and yellow silk dress, Alexander McQueen black round sunglasses, Margiela white canvas boots.
Look 4: Tracy Watts wool driving cap, Givenchy olive color-blocked pandora bag, to be adored paisley pant, Celine army green belted trench, Miu Miu python loafer.
I first heard the sound of Diana Vreeland's voice in the biographical documentary "The Eye Has to Travel", Vreeland's British accent underpinned by a slow, growling, and at times, suddenly faster uptake. Her fashion voice first appeared in print through her Harper's Bazaar advice column "Why Don't You...?" before beginning her career as fashion editor for Bazaar and in 1962, editor in chief of Vogue.
"Why Don't You...?" was a running list of queries that suggested fantastical alterations to life and wardrobe. The fantastical queries suggested: why not alter your life to suit your wardrobe, rather than altering a wardrobe to sensibly suit a life?
Transitional menswear comes in the form of hooded Balmain sweatshirts and Stan Smith Adidas sneakers. It also comes in the form of DKNY angora coats and charcoal plaid pants by Louis Vuitton - but the kicker is an Asprey cashmere scarf with light gray stars, top knotted underneath a crisp white collar. Shop in INA Chelsea this week to find new light wool mens layers and select sale items, mixed in.
All merchandise, INA Chelsea: Meg Cohen and INA cashmere gray hat, Balmain hooded sweatshirt, Ralph Lauren zip-up black jacket, Celine two-toned gray and black sweatpants; DKNY camel angora and alpaca coat, Black Denim white button-down shirt, Asprey cashmere scarf with gray stars, Dries Van Noten navy pinstripe pant, Burberry brown leather tote bag; Gucci light gray cotton blazer with brown print, Balmain motorcycle vest, Jil Sander light gray button-down shirt, Adrienne Landau chinchilla hat, Louis Vuitton gray wool plaid pant, John Varvatos black leather boots, Stan Smith Adidas.
The past is a long tunnel through which everything in the present has moved, and keeps returning: knee high boots, brocade blazers, a tunnel of diamante clip-ons. I pulled up the latest runway shows to see Valentino sending out Renaissance maidens just as Saint Laurent redeemed backstage fans and Lagerfeld turned Austrian, 1970s style.
Looking back at veils and white fabric roses - and sash-brimmed hats - my most recent nostalgia is gothic. Yes. Wuthering Heights even, a reference I associate with black forests.
Living outside of time is a fashion in and of itself.
All merchandise, INA Nolita: Chanel fabric rose brooch; Marni black mesh hat, Thomas Wylde leather, studded jacket; Alexander Wang patent, open weave netted purse; vintage Saks Fifth Avenue brimmed hat; Christian Louboutin leather and mesh striped boots.
Thawing concrete aside, I draw on the dead of winter for wardrobe cues. Furs are worn in combination with gowns, velvet eyelet lace in combination with motorcycle boots, and stomach-baring vests atop leather leggings.
A Sophia Kokosalaki rose silk gown hovers above the frozen sidewalk. And as spiritual insulation, Dolce & Gabbana heels are bound into place with metallic leather stars.
Marc Jacobs blush mohair grazes a grey lamb vest by Chloe worn underneath, and in hand, a vintage leopard hat. Fur on top of fur on top of fur.
Slung alongside this Erdem velvet lace dress, a pair of patent Louis Vuitton Mary Janes wait to displace the street weary motorcycle boots. All black attire is nevertheless backless, letting skin show through in contrast.
All merchandise found in INA Soho, from top: Hermes charcoal beret, Alaia faux fur jacket, Sophia Kokosalaki mauve silk dress, Dolce & Gabbana black suede heels with gold and silver stars, Fendi petal pink and coral sequined flower clutch with periwinkle tulle; Marc Jacobs mohair coat, Chloe grey fur vest, Alexander Wang leather trousers, Chanel grey flannel with black patent capped toe pumps, leopard vintage hat; Erdem velvet black lace dress, Lucky motorcycle boots, patent leather and silver capped toe Louis Vuitton Mary Janes, black leather clutch with black patent bow detail.