Almost two years ago, rapper and Harlemite Cam’ron walked the runway of a Mark McNairy fashion show wearing a gray suit, a camo fitted cap, and a fur lined tweed cape, and folks thought he had lost his mind. But he looked so damn fly anyway. This past September, actor turned Central St. Martin’s fashion design student Antonio Banderas, announced his intention to start a menswear line and to experiment with making the cape a steady thing in menswear. For many men the cape as accessory has already been a thing, but this Fall capes seem to be everywhere on runways and of course on the streets. And I am all the way here for it!
As a stylist, I am so much more daring in what I put in other people’s closets than what I am willing to risk putting in my own. These are my confessions. Forgive me Diana Vreeland, for I have sinned! And I totally just wrote that line just to show you a high-fashion, Yves Saint Laurent nun.
From Stefano Pilati’s Fall 2010 YSL Collection.
You’re welcome. Seriously though, I think what is true for me is true for many stylists and some fashion designers too: we are so busy pushing fashion for everyone else, we run out of gas and so we find our fierce thing we do and just keep doing it. And that’s ok, we still kill it. Michael Kors, for example, has said he started wearing his all Black jacket, shirt, pant, shoe, and aviator ensembles because he was so focused on thinking about what everyone else should be wearing he wanted to deliver himself from the pressure of having to always go through his closet to make a fierce look for himself Every. Damn Day. And what could be more instant chic and elegant than all Black everything? Uh, nothing. Here are the receipts:
Michael Kors in his signature all Black ensemble.
You better WERK, Michael Kors! I totally feel the same way, and so people for whom I have shopped with/for or styled have reaped the benefits of my creativity in style way more than I have at times. One of the things I had been putting people onto for EVER were capes, on capes, on capes. I had been obsessed with capes in womenswear first, but didn’t really lose my mind about it until I saw it in evening wear when Gwyneth Paltrow and then Lupita Nyong’o slayed our entire Universe wearing a Tom Ford and Ralph Lauren gown with capes on awards season red carpets in 2012 and 2014, respectively.
Lupita and Gwyneth: The Cape Has Arisen
I never really saw wearing capes as being a thing for myself. Then this Christmas my bae bought me a gorgeous, black and white geometric print cape. And as someone who has a very defined sense of what I do and do not wear, I freaked the hell out. I loved it at first sight, but was like “ummm, not happening” and figured it would look gorgeous in my closet or to loan to someone else. But in her new book (which I am now reading) Shonda Rhimes says it’s our “Year of Yes” or as I call 2016, my “Year of Yaaassszzz” so I questioned why my fear was on autopilot with my fashion at the moment, and decided to at least try it on. And I did. And then I twirled, and twirled some more. And then I was born again.
And now all I do is go online in search of capes. The last time this happened I began buying all the caftans, not even to wear outside, but just to sit at my desk and wear when I write. Ya’ll pray for my finances, because the devil is all in my pocketbook!
Further making capes a thing for me has been I love them with clutches, which now means I spend my weekends also buying up all the clutches. My favorite place to do this is consignment stores. On one recent shopping trip I purchased these three clutches for about $40:
My consignment clutches. Which one do you like the most? Mine is the green.
I paired the green clutch with the cape I got for Christmas and wore it just last week. I have upcoming fashion plans for the other two, both with a cape of course.I also found this lovely clutch at a boutique in my neighborhood, and am thinking of how to rock it. Something tells me it’ll be worn with a cape too. This is becoming a problem, folks.
Is there an item in your closet or something you considered too out your fashion wheelhouse to give it a shot? Tweet me, Facebook me, or leave a comment and let me know what that item is and let’s chat about how you can make it work in 2016. I mean, if I am twirling around town wearing a cape and a clutch bag, anything can happen.