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What Do Cool Girls Wear?
Spring 2024 seems to think it knows. A report from Fashion Week, on the style moods to expect next season - plus the pieces we will start our hunt for...now.
Good morning! The month of fashion weeks (during which designers showed their Spring 2024 collections) have come and gone and now we sit, wait and analyze. What I saw was a total mindset shift from March 2023, the last time we did a fashion week analysis.
As shoppers, we now sit back and wait for these clothes to hit shelves. As an editor, this is when I start toying with the idea of what the new season will bring. Wondering what stores bought what pieces. How can we take the styling ideas brands used in their shows and break them down for real life. What messages are we receiving from the garments? i.e. THE FUN PART!
In March, I was convinced designers were making a plea for us to get dressed, old school style. Maybe it was the pull of quiet luxury or an idealized, old fashioned archetype of the lady who spends money (because what sells is definitely not so straightforward these days.) The result was ladylike coats, skirt suits, full skirts, pumps, etc.
I felt a seismic and opposite shift this season. It feels like so many brands asked themselves, quite straightforwardly, “what are the cool girls wearing?” No esoteric reference point but inspiration taken from girls (women but “girl mindset” you know what I mean?) who are doing things. There is a gamine, sexy, rough around the edges quality to what I saw. Less buttoned up, more thrown on and thrifted.
There were great bleached out straight leg jeans at Proenza Schouler paired with sheer stockings and heeled sandals. Slouchy 80s-esque leather jackets at Louis Vuitton layered over chiffon skirts and “wellness”-y spa towels at The Row (technically they were showing PreFall) wrapped around the neck in place of a scarf. Styling mish-mashes galore.
From the wear-it-all-at-once Miu Miu show to Coperni’s sexy, strange layering, it’s like the designers all understood that half of what we wear is sourced second hand or quirkily layered in an unexpected way to create personal style. It’s funny to see that recreated on the runway - seeing designers try to create this mood while sticking to their own house codes. Some do it better than others. But this “cool girl” spirit felt heavily present this season in a way her mom was muse last.
Onto the stuff…
One of the biggest takeaways from this season was how many coats were on the runways. As these collections hit stores in March, it makes sense, but the system has been out of wack for decades and it seems like brands are finally starting to get it? Maybe they’re just finally paying attention to their bottom line. We buy coats when it’s cold! So somewhat surprisingly, today’s trend analysis is filled to the brim with outerwear. Maybe helpful as you start your fall coat hunt, to see the direction shapes will take in the coming year.
There were slim straight blazers, super soft long trenches, sporty anoraks and “Members Only” jackets, leather coats in sweet A-line shapes. In no particular order, some of my favorite ideas coming out of this season.
A sporty / dressy mix
In reality, these are just a bunch of great sporty jackets in beautiful fabrics that you can throw on with jeans but I love the idea presented here - that they can be polished and provide the balance to a dressier outfit.
Butter yellow is THE color.
For me at least. Putting “butter yellow leather accessory” on my list immediately. I just love how it sits against white and brown and how it balances other bright colors and prints.
Long Fluid (Lightweight) Coats
I feel confident speaking for many of us that it is sweet relief to see the insane shoulders of the last few seasons pulling back into the body. Sure it’s a look, but I can’t tell you how many clients have not been able to successfully buy a blazer or coat online the past year because of how massive shoulders have gotten. Should you want to maintain an oversized look (as I do) notice how the bottom two coats lay gently despite their enormity. No shoulder pads, in fluid fabrics that cinch at the waist. Big love to all of these.
We are all going to be wearing a fancy boat shoe come spring
Not mad at a buttery soft upgrade to this classic style.
It’s hard to feel cool in formalwear, no? When the whole point of getting dressed up is to put in effort, it can be mind bending to try to look…effortless? Proof that it’s possible.
Slouchy leather jackets
Super soft malleable leather that looks plucked right out of a vintage shop is top of my list….to find second-hand. I’m sure both of these will start with at 7 and end in 000. $! LOL.
Cotton knits get their couture moment
Blame it on LostJCrew’s Instagram, but the cotton sweater is having a moment. Not that these could be confused with J.Crew basics, but the idea that innovative and exciting knitwear is happening in cotton, and not being reserved for cashmere is refreshing. Though to be honest, I’m not 100% certain what the fabrications are in the knits below, they look like the ultimate summer sweater upgrades. I look forward to seeing more of this in the trickle down. :)
Unfathomable, because I’m not quite sure how we are going to afford it, ha! At least part of this letter should be fantasy no?! Super intricate and innovative fringe from a metal belt at Prada to seed bead layers at Loewe. This is not your average rodeo.
Everyone misses Jane Birkin
Many tributes to the world’s most famous style icon and her even more famous handbag.
Five Things I’m still Thinking About
The most amazing reference. Do you guys follow The Adventurine on Instagram? She is a jewelry expert and filled with fascinating knowledge in the world of high jewelry. She immediately found this comparison of Loewe’s floral harness-like tops and a famous JAR piece. Extraordinary.
Prada’s barn jacket. I’d been toying with the idea of ditching my classic Barbour for a more fashion-y silhouette for a while now, surprising even myself given my penchance for “the real thing.” Lately I want something roomier and my Barbour is straight and narrow for a man’s bod. So I laughed when I saw Prada getting in on the act too. I asked my husband if I could have this for my 40th birthday next year and he laughed. (I wasn’t kidding??)
A Theory On Pantlessness. Sweet Relief. Everyone seems to think the whole “no pants” thing is going to just keep happening into next summer. But let me ask you, DID THIS TREND HAPPEN FOR YOU LAST SUMMER?! OR THE SUMMER BEFORE!? Yes there may be a subset of teens and fashionistas that make up .00001% of the population walking around in glorified underwear. But for most of us, LOL. I do not believe for one second brands are making money off of this idea. Instead, I started looking at the looks as a whole. And the most pleasant reasoning I can fathom, is that they create shock value on the runway, giving an edge to pretty, simple, easy to wear separates. Look how many beautiful blazers, sweaters and coats are layered with these non-existent bottoms. With jeans or a black pant, we would probably write these pieces off as being “commercial.” I guess it takes a hot pant to sell an investment jacket these days. And the jackets are GOOD!
The show no one saw coming. Can we just take a minute to discuss what is happening over at sleepy Bally?! The styling! The pieces (all perfect versions of themselves!) The shoes and bags, all hits! This was Bally’s first season under Simone Bellotti, who had been at Gucci for 16 years under Alessandro Michele. I guess we know who made all the fantastical ideas into reality over there, huh. Adore adore adore. Now let’s just hope it all gets produced. Fingers and toes crossed.
4b. New York felt like an experimental fashion town for the first time in a really long time. With the “shows to see” being up and comers that you probably haven’t heard of before. Refreshing and exciting! Diotima, Palomo Spain, Fforme, Willy Chavarria. Etc. Etc. Etc. Yay to new names. Bigger yay to new ideas!!!!
The Jellies. What more do I even need to say? I’m sure you’ve already all been talking about them ad nauseam. These spa sandal, netted jelly shoes from The Row (that come in multiple candy color ways!!!) are already the cult item of next summer. The real question is…will they be $690?
Next week we return to the present tense with the most stylish, functional sweater you will want to wear everyday for the next six months. Hope you enjoyed this voyage into the future, brought to you by $600 in paranoia-induced dry cleaning…thanks Paris! Thank you all for being here, as always!
Signing off. Yours TRULY,
5 Things You Should Buy is a reader-supported publication. The entirety of this newsletter is not behind a paywall this week, which I felt torn about. If you learned something or screen grabbed something or just thought of anything in a new way this week, brought to you by my decades of experience analyzing and breaking down the trends, please consider upgrading to paid to support the work. AND if you are reading this for work, YOU CAN EXPENSE IT! :) Love to you all, always.