Street Style Icon

Here’s the thing about street style: For all the inspiration it serves and the little styling ideas it gives rise to, it’s a fantasy — or at least 99.99% of it is. Because of borrowed pre-season clothing and car services that make it possible for people to wear shoes they can’t actually walk in (or forgo tights or coats, or even a purse), most of what you see in those slideshows is exactly what you’ve feared: nothing more than a put-on.

But there exists that .01% of showgoers who treat Fashion Week like a regular Tuesday afternoon. They might make sure they’re a little more considered, or actually pull out the flat iron in the morning — but their clothes, their outfits, and their style are totally real. Street style truthers, meet your magic bullet: Jenny Walton.

Vintage printed dress found at a shop in Florence.

Vintage printed dress found at a shop in Florence.

Walton is an illustrator — check out her work at Makers and Microns — and works alongside Scott Schuman at The Sartorialist. She’s got a good eye, no doubt, but it wasn’t the fact that she could put together a beautiful outfit that caught ours. It was the fact that she repeated items — a lot. Her vintage-looking clothes really looked vintage. And when we scrolled through her Instagram, we found that some of the pieces she wore in street style photos that made her outfits iconic (see: here and here) were from J.Crew and Zara. According to Walton, the only real difference between her regular outfits and her Fashion Week outfits is versatility: “I travel for a few weeks with just one suitcase — this is a challenge! I have to be smarter and more efficient than at home, because I have the reality of not having very much space!”

The refinery visited Walton at home to get a preview of what pieces are making it into her suitcase, and to hopefully glean some of her shopping secrets, so our eBay, Etsy, and mall excursions can get a little closer to being as fruitful as hers.

Vintage Red Sweater Vintage Filthy Rebena

Vintage red pullover from Screaming Mimi’s; red vintage blouse; pink J. Crew skirt.

Mississauga Toronto Lluggage case Halston slingbacks Filthy Rebena Vintage

Vintage luggage case and vintage Halston slingbacks.

How would you describe your signature look?
“I think there’s something very classic about my look, and I think that just comes from what shapes I like and that they read as classic. I’m more petite on top so I like smaller, more fitted tops. I like things that are fitted at the waist and I tend to like fuller skirts. I like my neck and jawline so I love pulling my hair back and wearing big earrings. For me, I know that’s a part of my body I like, so I choose to highlight it and it makes me feel great. Also, I mainly buy vintage, but I layer in things I find at Zara or J.Crew, as well as a few really special splurge pieces.”

Vintage printed dress with a M&J Trimmings bow.

Vintage printed dress with a M&J Trimmings bow.

Tell me about those ribbons!
“I actually bought the ribbons at M&J Trimming in Midtown to wrap up some books as presents. I loved the color of the ribbon, so I grabbed it from a stack of books and tied it around my neck because it’s simply a great color.”

Gucci Zara Filthy Rebena Vintage Mississauga Toronto London

Gucci bee sweater; Zara pleated skirt; Converse Jack Purcells.

What’s the secret to buying items from fast-fashion shops that don’t look like they’re fast-fashion?
“I think it comes down to two main things. Firstly, it’s a process: it’s a lot of sifting through things. Secondly, it’s also about having styling smarts and being able to see each piece individually beyond what they have merchandised it with in the store.

“I am someone that, for whatever reason, has always enjoyed analytical shopping (I consider almost everything), but at the same time, I buy barely anything. You have to be both extremely open, and at the same time extremely selective. You want to wear the clothes, you don’t want them to wear you.”

Vintage jewelry.

Vintage jewelry.

Vintage bag Mississauga Toronto Vintage Clothing London

Vintage bag.

Vintage green suede coat from Beacon's Closet; Gucci skirt; Thrifted blue cashmere sweater Walton's mother found at a thrift store; Jack Purcell sneakers.

Vintage green suede coat from Beacon’s Closet; Gucci skirt; Thrifted blue cashmere sweater Walton’s mother found at a thrift store; Jack Purcell sneakers.

That gold, pleated skirt is so fun, and I recognize it from a few of your street style shots.
The gold skirt is Gucci, and I love it. This is one of those few new statement pieces I own, and I think it’s worth it to splurge on because it’s so unique, and it ends up elevating everything else in your wardrobe that you pair it with. I imagine I’ll be wearing it for a very very long time.” [Ed. note: For contrast, Walton’s green pleated skirt is from Zara!]

Miu Miu Bottega Veneta Vintage Filthy Rebena

Pink and red Miu Miu shoes; blue glitter Bottega Veneta shoes; all scored on eBay.

What items do you typically spend the most money on?
“Usually I spend the most on shoes. The good thing about investing in a pair of shoes is that they’re always going to fit, so as long as you take care of them, you’re set. Now that there are so many ways to buy and so many different sites that you can go to, I think it’s worth it to spend a little time hunting around for something — I’ve bought Miu Miu shoes on eBay, for example. I don’t have too many rules, but the one I would say is to not to buy vintage shoes. A few seasons ago on discount are fine, but I’ve bought shoes from the ‘60s before and they always break within a few wears, so I’ve just learned it’s not worth it — no matter how pretty they are!”

Source: Refinery29

Tommy Girls

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH

On Wednesday, Tommy Hilfiger debuted a capsule collection on that looks uncannily familiar — and not because it’s already been spotted on It Girls like Gigi Hadid and Suki Waterhouse. The new line is simply a reproduction of the Tommy you used to know — the logo-centric sporty gear everyone and their mothers wanted a piece of back then — at prices that aren’t as much a throwback. (The re-edition items range from $198 to $654.) If you’re a fan of cropped sweaters and football jerseys that will cost you, the line is available now. But if you consider yourself a pretty skilled thrifter, you’ve probably come across these same pieces before, in which case, like us, you’re wondering if the fashion industry isn’t just trolling us right now.
image (1)The hip-hop community is to thank for making ’90s-era Tommy cool beyond its WASPy roots, but the brand’s aesthetic has been more difficult to pin down in the decades since. And though there are signature elements that make it stand out among classic Americana — the red and blue, the wide stripes, the buffalo plaid — it’s a stretch to say that its non-logo’d pieces are recognizable. This capsule collection, however, revives the streetwear period of the brand that was so influential, it’s almost impossible to forget. But, is bringing back a sure-fire win (like, the exact win) the only way for a label that somehow lost its identity to be relevant again?

TommyRemaking and reselling once-popular logo pieces is not a new strategy by any means. Most recently, Calvin Klein’s collaboration with Opening Ceremony (and its offshoot with Urban Outfitters) brought back iconic looks from the same decade. The difference? The #MyCalvins line was offered at a fraction of the price of Tommy’s redo. This made it easy for younger millennial consumers to buy multiple pieces, giving the brand a new life with a whole generation of buyers who weren’t around to enjoy it the first time — a generation whose social-media tendencies meant major exposure for the brand. And the fact that it sold so well means that these collaborations are indeed profitable, so we can expect to keep seeing them crop up.
blog1“The point of this collaboration is to celebrate the credibility which [Hilfiger] generated in the ‘90s, which continues to resonate today amongst the next generation of Tommy fans,” a press release for the collection states. “The flag logo was the starting point, and Aaliyah was the muse in the design process as she was such an iconic figure for the brand.” In other words, the company’s going all-in on this ’90s thing, which begs the same question asked of all these nostalgia-driven business decisions: Is it worth paying inflated prices to make something old new again?

imageLet’s not forget these items have been living on eBay for the past two decades. And if you don’t believe us, you can get the originals all over the web – or even at your local thrift shop for under $100. When we asked Buffalo Exchange’s marketing director about millennial demand in regards to these types of collaborations, reality kicked in: “We’ve had a handful of customers ask specifically for ’90s Tommy Hilfiger, ’90s Polo and CK1 logo tees, however, the majority of our customers are asking for current pieces that emulate the styles from this era,” Stephanie Lew explained.
tumblr_nwm59nq9yN1qbhipzo1_1280The fact that today’s younger shoppers prefer modernity to heritage isn’t a shocker, per se, but it’s a peculiar observation that comes at a time when the numbers prove millennials are not “brand loyal,” and are actually shopping less. But in a world where trends come and go at a faster rate than they used to, maybe newness alone is enough to convince young shoppers to forego a month’s worth of lunches rather than seeking out the cheaper originals. Time — and the success of this Tommy line — will tell.

Source: Refinery29, Landon Peoples