Thursday, September 14, 2017

Alexander Wang Cured My Party Dressing Disease

The family of intimidating gang members known as "going out clothes" manages to excite me, confuse me, frustrate me and bore me all at the same time. Dressing for nighttime is a mysteriously exhilarating experience--a new, exciting feeling seems to sweep over town like magic dust when the sun goes down--and party looks from the 90's feel like they're a product or embodiment of that nighttime fluorescence; they reflect the excitement that their wearers feel, they outwardly materialize that "going out" feeling of having a whole new world ahead of you.

But for some reason, I've recently come to know parties as places where my creativity and individuality in outfitting myself (and excitement about the outfit) go to die: none of my eccentric daytime concoctions seem right, so no matter how hard I try, I end up in some tired washing machine sequence of choosing the same silhouettes and colors (neutrals) over and over again. It's kind of like one of those rigged Impossible Mario computer games that are orchestrated to ensure you die, getting your hopes up with each new try even though it knows you'll never make it to the finish.

Every time I make plans to go out at night, I feel that magic dust of dusk infiltrating my veins and fueling me with excitement, anticipation, and mischief, and the idea of picking out an outfit that not only reflects that but empowers me to thrive in that environment excites me so much. But somehow in the outfitting process, I find myself unhappy with everything I come up with, so I resort to the typical "Going Out" uniform: a black, grey, or white top or cropped top with a black, grey, or white skirt or jeans.

I understand that I can wear whatever I want and that there's no force magnetically pulling me to my less-than-stimulating "going out" clothing, but sometimes it feels like there is. Parties seem to have a dress code--"party wear"--that my brain responds to by flipping off all creativity switches in favor of... I don't know, something that satisfies the "sexy, dressed-up but not too dressed up" imperative?

Alexander Wang's "cool girl" is perhaps one of few that has continued to capture the excitement and curiosity of the fashion industry, even years after the brand's launch. The Wang girl has historically represented the highly coveted model off-duty look, the "laid-back one with loose second-day waves, wearing hardly a stitch of makeup, and oozing downtown cool wherever she goes--a runway recreation of the unassuming bombshells that loom large in the designer's real life," according to Vogue

This NYFW, ~industry peeps~ eagerly anticipated Wang's SS 2018 collection, eyes peeled and ears opened to the next layer Wang would add to his "cool girl." However, nobody was ready for how it actually went down.

Models showed up in a party bus, and without warning, hopped out onto the streets of Nolita--no runway, no seated guests--and strutted with purpose, looking like that dust of magic was pumping through their veins, fueling their confidence in going out to party. This was the girl I wanted to be. And what was she wearing?

Whatever the heck she wanted.

Of course, she enjoyed her share of typical "party wear" with slinky dresses: 

But she equally shared in the "going out" scene with other silhouettes, which didn't strip away her party girl street creed, but rather reinforced it, flowing together with the other "typical" party looks without question or hesitation.

I want to wear baggy jeans to parties without feeling the urge to balance them out with something.

And while we're at it, let me wear some cargo pants and a fanny pack that serves absolutely zero purpose for this particular event outside making me feel like my outfit is more interesting. Yes, I'll wear heels because they beautifully contrast the slouchiness of the pants and give a major middle finger to anyone who thinks that baggy cargo pants can't be in the "going out wear" gang.

And I still love my "going out" tops. Nothing's better than a top that's bright, shining, and part of the party. But I'll wear it with gray business trousers or daytime khaki layered over a leather skirt, because LOOK:

I sometimes feel like the only leg-covering options for parties are jeans. So lets throw in a midi skirt, shall we? When did those become not nighttime, not awesome compliments to an outfit, not completely ready to take on a magic dust filled night when paired with combat boots?

And sometimes I'll just make a dress out of my own pajamas or an oversized button down or sweater. Add a jacket with that too--zip it up all the way because it makes for a silhouette I like rather than keeping it open in fear of ruining my outfit with it.

I feel most confident when I'm wearing an outfit that unapologetically portrays my most true self. Sometimes, you just gotta be as honest as possible to give you that power and confidence you need to take on the night. There's something weirdly empowering in being almost too literal in your honesty. In Alexander Wang's case, wear it on your head. Walking in to a party or club (as if I even do those things anyway--zero club lights total have shined onto my face), my head piece would say "Just Wants To Love People and Laugh."

I didn't need a fashion week extravaganza to give me permission to wear whatever I want in nighttime social settings. I needed a spark of inspiration, a flash of unapologetic fun, and a hard-working mother who moonlights as a powerful bombshell (hi Candice) in cargo pants to remind me that there's no such thing as "going out clothes."

Alexander Wang SS18 photos by Yannis Vlamos / via

1 comment

P Holifield said...

you are AMAZING

love your biggest fan

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