People often say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but what happens when the outside is all you get to see? Fashion begs to differ, at least in the cold weather. Fall is all about peeling back the layers, getting to know the person through the complex ensemble that ensures they can adjust their look in accordance with the weather. With heavy rainstorms and ice-cold air, it seems reasonable that we place the most importance on the jacket, the boots, the bag, and the makeup because that’s all people get to see. Maybe you’re feeling a little cold, or perhaps just guarded? Regardless, they key to staying warm or maintaining your mystique and still looking chic is going for the edgy and effortless look: leather, rugged textures, bold metals, studded accessories, monochromatic ensembles, and masculine silhouettes. The look is fierce but still feminine, an effortless combination of gothic and girly, sleek but not stark. And that’s where all black everything fits in perfectly; it can be mysterious and multi-dimensional as long as you remember to incorporate a variety of textures.
Black is a magical colour – it can be extremely flattering, it can make you stand out or fit in, and when worn correctly can project the perfect combination of fashionable and feminine, or edgy and effortless. It can look daring and dangerous or sweet and safe. It goes day to night and serious student to superwoman spy. Think Mr. & Mrs. Smith meets a struggling city girl clutching her guitar case trying to make it as a musician.
The edgy girl wears mostly simple makeup; opting for muddy, warmer tones, defined cheekbones, and single-coloured taupe or brown shadow and polishes. Her hair is voluminous but sleek and her lipstick varies from matte nude to a wine-stained plum. She projects a kind of rugged individualism, a self-sufficient woman, chasing her dream in a city that’s filled with dreamers. She’s got baggage – lots of it – and trust issues too. She’s got a lot of depth, but she doesn’t reveal her complexities to a lot of people. The guarded type, except for when it comes to reckless adventure – she’s hungry for a rush of adrenaline, almost to the point of a fault, but her philosophy on life is the minute you give into your fears you may as well be dead.
Her boyfriend’s a musician also, the James Dean type your parents would never approve of. He’s the drummer of a band who plays music reminiscent of The Cure meets Van Halen and he’s got a motorcycle, obviously. The tattooed brooding type, he spends his days writing lyrics in Central Park and his nights playing whatever open mic he can swing a gig at. She always steals his plaid shirts and wears them under her Rag & Bone Cashmere sweaters, taking them from day to night effortlessly just by adding a cool clutch and and some stacked bracelets.
Her favourite pieces are a structured, beat-to-shit embellished Balmain jacket she found at a thrift shop, her Proenza Schouler PS1 satchel, a crimson velvet kimono from Paris, and of course her collection of white tees. From Hanes to The Row, v-necks to crew necks, opaque to translucent, she wears them everywhere – her black bra subtly visible beneath the fabric.
Her friends are all creative rebels and rogues, experienced New Yorkers with a passion for all things expressive. The Outsiders is her favourite classic novel and she likes to drink straight whiskey when she’s out. She collects old records, considers herself a Buddhist, and has a tattoo on the inside of her wrist. And while she maintains a cynical exterior, those who know her well – that have managed to penetrate the sturdy, spiked, leather jacket – know that she is a star-crossed dreamer. The cruelties of the world have toughened her up, made her stronger, and while she may seem ice-cold, she’s definitely not insensitive. In fact, she’s overwhelmingly emotional so she relies on the darkness of her clothing to maintain some semblance of concealment because she won’t just open up to anyone. Fashion is her only protection from the cold weather and the even colder people. You might think she’s confused or distraught, reckless or rebellious. Or maybe she’s sparked your interest and you’ve sparked hers, in which case, she’ll start to warm up, take off her jacket, let her guard down, and maybe for a second she’ll let you step into her wandering mind and then in an instant, leave you perplexed, speechless, and deep in thought.