I’ve just returned to chilly city living from the stunning tropical summer of South America, and am trying to reconcile myself to dressing for ice storm survival rather than sunshine. Enter the mystique of a candy-colored coat. Happily-hued outerwear is a fantastic way to attack the post-holiday gloom that looms over the first few months of the year. I’ve mixed this delicious Karen Millen number with their snow leopard dress (looking outside, the motif seems only appropriate). If you’ve read this site for some time, you may have already detected my adoration for animal prints. I’ve long worn them regularly and consider them a neutral; there isn’t much they won’t mix with. Newer, however, is this growing penchant for pastels, which can be tough to pull off as a grownup as they veer into twee far too easily. For me, it started with Celine’s Fall 2013 collection, and since then I’ve discovered I like them best a little sickly-sweet. For instance, Sandra Bullock’s Golden Globes dress, designed by Prabal Gurung, was a knockout in my eyes. I found its palette sophisticated, challenging, and thus seriously refreshing.
As a color family, pastel hues are a bit like Kim Kardashian ~ a lot easier to detest than embrace. So it’s fitting that the tabloid superstar has been rocking those wonderful Celine coats all winter, and looking better than ever in the process. She’s an unlikely fashion plate who’s suddenly made herself impossible to ignore, and it’s because she’s onto something: a candy-colored coat is the brightest kind of midwinter pick-me-up!
I’ve always maintained that fashion’s magic lies in the ability it lends to write your life’s story anew every day. What you wear is always communicating cues about your narrative to the world, whether you choose to rock a Northface polar fleece or a Fendi fur cubby. Similarly, the best fashion photography takes us on epic visual journeys, and this storytelling capacity bleeds naturally over into the art world. Art photographer Alex Prager has been making waves lately, and she uses clothing to deepen the narrative in still images. There’s frequently a 50’s housewife vibe in her styling choices (cue classic visual tropes like perfectly-coiffed hair and pastels), a reference that invariably evokes ideas about isolation and lonely dissatisfaction. It’s a look designed to conceal harsh realities, or at least smooth over life’s rougher edges. Well, there’s no season as socially disconnecting as a record-cold winter wrapped in an historic polar vortex. As a survival strategy, I heartily suggest throwing on the prozac of coats!
|CLICK HERE| for more pastel loveliness |PHOTOGRAPHY| by Austin Phelps