I don’t consider myself a slave to fashion — I’m really more of a student.
It all started when I received a subscription to W at the frighteningly young age of 10. In the years since, I’ve pored over hundreds of fashion magazines with all the seriousness of a monk studying a religious text. For the last 16 years, I’ve also collected my favorite images in leather-bound scrapbooks — my own versions of textbooks.
By contrast, Pinterest has made everyone so lazy. With a simple click, users “curate” clothing with little more deliberation than what’s required to order a pizza. Pre-Pinterest, if you wanted ideas for a prom dress, you had to buy the magazines, tear out the photos and paste every image by hand, risking carpal tunnel, paper cuts and glue sniffage. It took dedication!
Nowadays, I reference my scrapbook archives often, and I have an encyclopedic memory of each brand’s recent milestones and hallmarks. Over the years, Chanel has been the single most enduring brand I’ve featured.
Interestingly, I don’t actually own much Chanel — the offerings, even second-hand, can be prohibitively expensive, counterfeit or plastered in obnoxious logos.
But when I found this white tweed jacket in consignment last year, I paused. I checked the price tag. I placed it back on the rack. I walked away and did a lap around the block. Then I returned to try it on. (This is the power of Chanel.)
Despite the fetishization of Chanel’s little black jacket, I prefer this white, sequin-scattered version, which softly illuminates the face. I paired the jacket with the same Helmut Lang cowl neck top from last week — note how different the top looks when it’s tucked in and paired with office basics.
But the best part about this jacket? I haggled until the store knocked 30% off the price — and the manager threw in a free Jean Paul Gaultier coat, too.
All those years of studying paid off. The student — she has become the master.