December 7th was a remarkable day for the inhabitants of Rio de Janeiro. However, its importance had nothing to do with the cultural scenario, politic events or what happens more often, soap opera endings. It was the hottest day in December until now: 39,8 degreees C (103,64 degrees F), according to the National Institute of Meteorology (Inmet). And it's not even summer yet.
When the felt air temperature rises to 45 degrees C (113 degrees F), it is almost impossible to wear anything that differs from light, short dresses. Sometimes, however, it feels as if there is something missing—something other than fresh air, obviously. Today's Fashionista shows that it's possible to solve your whole look with the addition of only one piece of clothing: a jean vest. Combined with a delicate-printed viscose dress (which matches her nail polish color) and studded transparent sandals, the jeans vest proves itself to be the key-piece of a summer rocker ensemble.
If you want to go for that modern, rock'n'roll vibe that seems to be intrinsic to this Fashionista, try out vests in materials such as jeans and leather. Kenzo launched a leather jacket fit in November that makes it possible to take away the sleeves and turn the jacket into an edgy vest. It costs US$1.315, but there are some inspired pieces with the same proposal in the market. If you're more of a classic kind of girl, tailoring vests are an office-friendly option during the summer. If we don't melt until then, of course.
I used to love magic tricks when I was a kid; my favorite was the one in which the magician would suddenly make the coins in his hand disappear. However, as the year—and maybe the world—ends, my bank account seems to be doing the same trick to my beloved coins. Of course, it doesn't really amuses me anymore.
Contradicting my money's opinion, I believe holidays yell for new pieces of clothing. Hence, this Christmas, my goal was to search for more affordable options of material happiness. Today's Fashionista's look only made me reaffirm my thoughts on the possibilities of cheap; when I asked where her lacy top was from, thinking it had probably come from an overpriced local shop such as Ecletic or Farm, she laughingly told me, “Forever 21. I love that place. It's so cheap!”
I then realized that the rest of her clothing, that resulted in a cool, model off-duty-like ensemble, was also highly affordable. Ankle boots are everywhere, and by everywhere I mean at least two of the most important fast-fashion chains here in Brazil: Renner and Leader. High-waisted jeans shorts are becoming popular, but it's more likely you'll find them at C&A. The Netherlands-born chain has lately joined forces with a series of high-fashion brazilian brands, like Dress To and Santa Lolla, to develop accessible yet trendy collections. The results, as well as the prices, are amazing. Still no Forever 21, but who knows?
I don't remembrer my great-grandmother very well. From what my mom tells me, she used to be an extremely vain lady— who also faithfully believed in the effect milk baths had on your skin. I inherited, however, one of her greatest treasures: a box full of French handmade lace that would have cost a little fortune back in the first half of the 20th century. This box has become a treasure for me, too. I learned to love lace in all its delicacy and complexity.
Two weeks ago, I traveled to Fortaleza, in the Northeast state of Ceará. There I stood, amazed at the local elder ladies who would patiently create what is known as bilro lace. A card with the pattern to be followed and pins that will hold a number of threads are set over a cylindrical fabric cushion. At the end of each thread, there is a wooden stick—the so-called bilros. The rendeiras (how the ladies are called) transfer the bilros from right to left, in a rustic loom. I asked “Dona” Rosa, a silver-haired woman who carries a curiously permanent smile, to watch her work— she's hearing-impaired, I am told, but doesn't seem to care as I marvel at her newly-born creation. After a while, she tells me that this particular piece of lace will take a week to be finished.
Back to Rio, I started noticing a lot of people wearing lace at PUC. Today's Fashionista, however, stood out from the crowd in her basic, casual-like manners. Bilro-like lace is sewed both to the collar and the hem of her black jersey dress, adding an interesting, delicate touch to the outfit. Toughening up the otherwise too girly-girl look, dusty lace-up boots complete the ensemble, along with a leather crossbody bag. I understand that the probability this lace is actually industrialized is huge — but this realization doesn't seem to erase an oddly undying smile.
Although the lace trend has finally shown some signs of relent (in the Winter 2013 edition of Fashion Rio, it was packed up along with the tag “transparency”), bilro lace adds femininity and a little naïf tone to any piece, specially when it appears only as a detail—like in today's Fashionista look or in this Farm blouse. In my opinion, it also makes any ensemble a little more magical. Maybe that's why the silver-haired lady couldn't stop smiling.
“It's about clothes that work for you rather than you for them,” says fashion designer Daryl Kerrigan about the '90s style in an interview for Nylon's last issue. Kerrigan used to own the unofficial go-to place for streetwise, cool East Village denizens back in 1990. Last month, she designed an exclusive capsule collection for Urban Outfitters praising the relentless '90s—bodycons and bomber jackets were included in the pieces, of course.
When I sighted today's Fashionista, Kerrigan's words suddenly popped up in my mind. What the designer calls the opposite of TMF (too much fashion) was personified right in front of me, ironically lighting up a cigarette in front of a “Rio Without Smoke” sign. The combo plaid shirt and black leather jacket is typical from the grunge era—red Converse make sure the good old days are back.
Effortless is the key word when it comes to '90s style. And is there anything that cries “I simply don't care” harder than a sidecut hairstyle? Model Alice Dellal and a gone-wild version of Miley Cyrus both have it. If you don't like the idea of actually shaving, take today's Fashionista hint and fake a sidecut with the help of a YouTube tutorial. Then, turn it into a spotlight with a single neon earring—it's time to get “very exciting, very raw and very creative,” to use Daryl Kerrigan's words.
In the year of 2012, Parisian Chic: A Style Guide, written by the apparently ageless French model Inès de La Fressange, was responsible for filling up bookstores with Fashionistas. But the step-by-step guide to looking effortlessly chic and casual wasn't the only thing that caught the press' eyes. Nine d'Urso, Inès' daughter and the one in charge of documenting how to dress comme des Parisiennes, caused a true frisson in the fashion world. Now eighteen, she turned down most modeling invitations — although accepted to be the Bottega Veneta fragrance's face — in order to study Ancient Greek. Talk about cool, non?
Walking around PUC on a rainy day, I couldn't help but to notice today's Fashionista resemblance with Nine. Maybe it's because of her choice of a neutral color, black, to compose her whole ensemble (the Parisian Chic guide says that trendy colors are only useful to locate kids at the beach), or maybe it's because of a flair that could only be described as Parisian; I don't know. Truth is that the combination of biker boots, tights, T-shirt and high-waisted shorts never looked so good—or so easy.
Still according to the style guide, sticking to the closet essentials is the number one rule to achieve the Parisian flair. Therefore, all of the city natives' style is built on accessories. Take today's Fashionista, for example: biker boots, a vintage-looking belt and a pendant add flair to the black-based look. Try putting on a pair of ASOS studded boots, choosing an unique pendant at Magenta Store (what about this mermaid-shaped one?) and finding the perfect vintage belt on Etsy.
In the late '60s, an aesthetical movement took over the cultural scene in Brazil. Mixing up traditional Brazilian and South American manifestations with foreign influences—in which rock'n'roll played a major part—and represented by artists like Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil, Tropicalism defended the impossible blend between the rural and the urban, the modern and the old, the mass culture and the erudition. Historically, the movement soon ended, thanks to the hardening of the military dictatorship established in Brazil. However, Tropicalism proved itself to be truly avant-garde, since the globalized world was the first to embrace that “impossible blend” between cultures.
When I sighted today's Fashionista, I was interested in her shorts, which seemed to have a tropical-inspired print stamped on it. Tropical prints were a big trend back in 2011, when Prada presented a literal fruit salad in its spring collection. Since then, I have been waiting for a comeback of the trend—I saw some Zara blazers walking around during the last few months, but my biggest hope was in the Phillip Lim spring 2013 collection, which showed off bits of tropical influences, but only when it came to graphic prints.
Getting closer, I discovered her shorts were more Tropicalist than tropical. What I had interpreted as a nature engrave was actually a print constituted by little red lips over a Klein blue base. The combination of a rustic cotton with a graphic pop print was absolutely unexpected—and yet mesmerizing, just as defended by the Tropicália movement. Knotted chambray shirt, golden ballerinas and a Le Pliage bag (a new classic) complement her look.
Mixing up fabrics and prints may not be the only way to incorporate a Tropicalist vibe on your looks. In a world where you can do practically everything in fashion, the incompatible coexistence of the opposites might just be the right path to follow. So don't be afraid to put together a pair of marabou-trimmed stilettos from ASOS with a Zara camouflage-printed skirt. Tropicalism now!
They are remembered as a vital part of the classic pin-up ensemble and, in the '70s, even integrated the official stewardesses' uniform. The hot pants consist of high-waisted, very short shorts and are a major bet for summer 2013 around here. New Order and Maria Bonita Extra are examples of brands that were inspired by the trend and featured in the last Fashion Rio with hot pants in their collections.
Although hot pants might be the créme de la créme of elegance on the runaways, wearing the trend off the catwalk requires a lot of attitude, and I might add, worked-out legs. For those who fit the part–like today's Fashionista–care is still needed. After all, hot pants' side effects include an instantaneous top model flair, but vulgarity is also very easily achieved. To prevent it, pair your hot shorts with long-sleeved tops, such as blazers or, as this Fashionista shows, light cardigans.
Jeans fabrics fit perfectly when the idea is to get casual. Get inspired by today's Fashionista's hot shorts and find a similar one at American Apparel. For an edgier approach of the trend, wait until dark and wear galaxy-printed or sequin-embroidered NASTY GAL hot pants combined with stellar heels and sheer tops. Today, you don't need to become a stewardess to touch the sky.
Being interviewed about CollegeFashionista by my colleagues in a Radio Communication class, the following question popped up: “Would you say that girls at PUC have a specific style?” My answer was affirmative: I do think girls at PUC dress in a particular way. However, I also think that the establishment of a statured “style” is a dangerous thing when it comes to fashion. When searching for Fashionistas, I always try to find people whose style detaches itself from the status quo.
It's not such a difficult task, after all. People are different. And different doesn't necessarily mean colored hair and ripped clothes. Take today's Fashionista for example: black sandals and a printed tee are the basic complements to a striped, navy-influenced skirt that escapes from the usual Breton look. An elegant handbag and a collection of bracelets state a paradox between adulthood and a teenage flair.
Although we talk about navy inspirations every single summer, New Order, a local shoes and accessories store, managed to create a whole collection inspired by the theme without getting obvious or tacky—just like the skirt today's Fashionista wore. Buy their former classics transported to the nautical universe in their official website.
Sometimes it's tough to be a Style Guru. Collateral effects should be listed in the moment you agree to start your life as a “cool hunter”: first, you start collecting fashion magazines; Nylon becomes your bible. Then, you begin to act like a complete lunatic on the streets, virtually analyzing and classifying clothes of people you don't know and never will.
The worse part is, however, when you can't find a Fashionista that truly inspires you. That's what happened last week. Having walked around campus with my camera for five days in a row, I was upset no Fashionista had caught my attention.
Then I saw today's Fashionista. Wearing a black sheer top and high-waist woven trousers, her look was a pop of elegance in a world full of teenagerish Converses and leggings. Amazing tattoos and grey suede ballerina flats complement her ensemble.
If I had only one guess to discover where her pants come from, I'd say Totem. Colorful prints are all over this born-and-bread in Ipanema brand, that distinguishes itself for its smart and sophisticated creations. A beach DNA mixed up with cosmopolitan fits — today's Fashionista certainly inspired me. How about you?
I'm terrible at sports. Growing up, P.E. classes were an euphemism for “living nightmares.” Playing volleyball was an excuse for everyone in class to chat about how I managed to always run away from the ball. When I got older, these classes were replaced by the gym. Things didn't get better: people looked at me as if I were some kind of UFO visiting the crème de la crème work-out spot of the world. That said, it is pretty obvious why I never really got the whole runway athletic gear trend.
Today's Fashionista however, transformed the classic gym wear in a cosmopolitan, ready-to-wear look and made me rethink my position. Combining maroon leggings — an athletic must — with Redley leather slip-ons and a slouchy striped T-shirt, she created a modern, yet comfortable ensemble that goes everywhere. A touch of femininity comes in the form of a lacy bra strap.
When I saw this Fashionista walking around the Pilotis, American Apparel immediately came to my mind. Their ads and choice of models might be controversial, but their basic, solid-cotton knitwear isn't and represents faithfully their belief of clothes everyone can wear. Having a store located in São Paulo, the brand ships to Brazil for only R$20. Get yourself some jersey leggings (I love the truffle-colored ones) and work it out — inside and outside the gym.