STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Harmony In Opposition

We’ve heard it before: life is about balance. Whether it comes from a fortune cookie or your grandma, the aphorisms are plenty – the yin and the yang, the black and the white, the masculine and the feminine.  Whatever the label may be, it all boils down to the interplay of these entities and how the back and forth creates harmony. So how does this relate to fashion? Well, it may be the oldest line in the book, but it is one that gives birth to the most intriguing style.

Dries Van Noten’s spring 2013 ready-to-wear show is a perfect example. The masculine/feminine dynamic was on display in full force. Delicate organza plaids meshed with oversized trousers and grungy roots opposed girly pink lips. Every detail played with expectations, just like today’s Fashionista.

This Fashionista is an A student in the study of juxtapositions. The most obvious opposition she creates is seen by her use of color. Starting with a black base, she layers a creamy, white dress over it in stark contrast. From there, notice how her delicate lace pairs with the masculine utility of her jean jacket. But wait, there’s more! Even proportions are at play: look at how her oversized tote clashes with the short hem of her mini-dress. This ensemble has it all: big vs. little, light vs. dark and masculine vs. feminine.

When I first spotted this Fashionista walking down High Street, I immediately knew I had to take her photo. Only when I stopped her to ask did I realize that I had photographed this very girl before. It is always a treat when this happens because I can appreciate the style evolution of a Fashionista. The first time I photographed her earlier this summer, she wore an undeniably feminine and retro outfit. With the change of seasons, her look has gained a new dimension—one that is less prim and more textured.

So go ahead, wear purple with red. Find tough motorcycle boots (like these beauties) and wear them with a full skirt. Today’s example is yet another reason to be excited by the prospects of fall layering and the interesting contrasts that abound.

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