Here we don’t talk trends and we also don’t talk seasons. After all this is Manila and it’s summer all the time and it’s low-key winter where there’s aircon. The nobler cause is off-trend, off-season, and just going for the gold. And the sequins and the fur.
Model and in-demand influencer Wanda Chen says she doesn’t know how to describe her style. “Sometimes I’d wear something girly and sometimes I’d wear boy’s clothes.”
When asked whose style she likes, she says Bella Hadid. “She dresses sexy but not just for the sake of it. Her style is not too mainstream.” I got you. So one day we scheduled to play personal stylist and I set forth to survey the stores with my model and muse.
Below is a dispatch on what’s hot on the high street.
The Vibe: Interiors Colors
Remember when color-blocking was The Thing of 2007? Dunkin Donutarian orange-and-pinks were getting the best of better judgment. More than a decade on as we approach 2020, a new color-blocking consists in what I’d call interiors colors—or colors that wouldn’t be so bad on walls or a couch. They’re colors that tread the threshold of boldness and subtlety like a conscientious tightrope walker.
You see it a lot now, from Pierpaolo’s Valentino to Jacquemus, where swaths of the most nuanced beiges are made to coincide with the most acerbic of limoncellos. Here it’s cobalt and rust.
The Vibe: Recent Nostalgia
The shirt says “sublime”. When I hear that word I think of Raf Simons in the Dior documentary, where he says it a lot presumably because it’s the same word en Francais. A lifetime after that came Maria Grazia Chiuri’s “We Should All Be Feminists” T-shirts, which I read would’ve cost you $170.
This look could be a lovechild of those seemingly disparate fashion moments in the same maison. I have a soft spot for nostalgia with barely-there patina.
The Vibe: Like Mel B But Mod
Just words: High. Waist. Vertical. Stripes. Flared. Jeans. When those boxes are checked, the Sporty Spice crop top can have a day in the sun.
The Vibe: Haute Errand
When you have an outfit for the errand but no errand for the outfit but your Tickle Me Elmo belt bag is tugging you for an outing.
The Vibe: Indigo, Metals, and Skins
You can break this down many ways: Blue, green, and red. Denim and snakeskin. Hardware on the jacket, hardware on the belt. Indigo, metals, and skins. It’s a coherent trifecta. The rulebooks are shaking!
The Vibe: The Serengeti Meets The Sea
TBQH I don’t know what to say about this fit except that instinct goes a long way and if it fails you, it’s okay, it’s fashion. The vibe is the Serengeti and the sea, or celadon-glazed pottery and the feline persuasion.
I remember the Alexander Wang documentary where he basically regurgitates the same spiel to the press: “Wall Street banker meets Belle du Jour.” And another season it was “working girl meets The Matrix.”
The moral of the story is that nothing really has to make sense, but it has to make sense to you.
The Vibe: Ms. Gray Will See You Now
If Cary Grant in North by Northwest was a woman she would maybe wear this. Or if Megan Draper had to cosplay Don Draper.
The Vibe: All Fusion, No Friction
Marrying star-crossed patterns is no noob’s business. What print-clashing can’t be is two things: obvious and ironic. This addresses that. It’s stripes and dots but the dots aren’t obvious dots. And the colors from both pieces pick up on each other. All fusion, no friction.
We’re not just putting two and two together, we’re alchemizing something greater than the sum of its parts.
The Vibe: Just a Coherent Trifecta, Part Deux
So why and how do components of this cocktail appear heavy-handed on paper (cascading gold earrings, hello!) but magically snap tight like fated Tetris blocks in living-color 3D? Where to begin…
First, the materials: The dress is iridescent lightweight knit and the silver pumps are part plastic. You got see-through and see-through and a wink.
Second, the colorway is a coherent trifecta of gold, bronze, silver, and no wayward hues.
Third, a woman I didn’t know actually plucked this dress off from the rack moments before we did—proof that a long-sleeved sparkly number is as viable IRL as it is in a fit pic.
The Vibe: Heroic Sparkle
At this point during the day, we were so acclimated with sequins and just felt a strong sense of duty to support sequins. The leg slit is a cheeky touch of corporeal humblebrag.
The comeback of the furry baguette is a cheeky touch, too—just the icing to say you know what you’re doing. Also, fun fact, Wanda has an app to make things sparkle extra in photos.