In honor of the first gloomy morning in New York, I down a wine velvet blazer. It works its colour-magic with a stripped red boatneck, flared black jeans, high-top chucks and a straw bag. I am unaccustomed to not embodying the image of summer. Spring Street is swarming with similarly awkwardly mid-season clad people, and I pass among them in debate between iced or hot latte. To my personal relief, I settle on iced, and stuff the blazer into the straw bag, because by noon it’s warm. But autumn reminds of itself in orange-chalk writings and shop-window sweaters. And I am at a loss. I am a sailor, mourning perfect sailing conditions and sea-salt hair. There’s an excess of it in my hair, but that’s just the works of sea-salt spray. My wardrobe poses a question too, because it’s piles of shirts and hangers of silk and questionably-printed button-downs. I overhear the waitress in the cafe reiterate her disbelief that October is so soon. I feel like a nod is both in due and awkward.
Regardless, I’ll soon have to fix myself up for colder weather, and find it in my heart to welcome the autumn, which I had always loved. So where has that love gone? Its been replaced by the hotter lover, the evening dancer and semi-nudity enthusiast. Summer. Who’s to blame when it’s been so rad? This poolside tryst and this gig-going frequency. I’ve grown accustomed to dress easiness and hardship only when it came to organizing group night-outs.
Now, everything is complicated and I take regular naps. I’ve returned to my child state, because girl-child me was in love with summer dresses and breezy weather. Also running around in only knickers.
I think back to late August, when Karina and I sat on the eight floor of our hotel, debating attending the rooftop pool. The striped chaise lounge seemed to want to coax me to sleep, comfortable as it was when the plush allowed me to easily sink in. It makes for straining to maintain an appropriate string of responses in our dialogue, but Karina didn’t seem to mind my apparent preference to lay back and listen.
“I don’t want summer to end…” she had started to say, and it seized my comfort, as if pushing me off of the bed, as if an alarm. I responded with an “uh” and rolled over onto my back, massaged my temples. It hurt to think about the “real life,” where the absence of summer was sharply felt.
“Don’t remind me of it.” I told her, and looked over to see her equal unease at the idea.
Don’t get me wrong, we’ve worked this summer – together, even.
We sat in the little recording studio, serving an exchange of chords and words to one another until semi-decent tunes were produced. But I can’t complain about sprawling on the settee with a guitar on my lap, or about Karina telling me to sing in “that voice that’s like, ridiculous, you know? I want that.” So really, la vie has been good to me for the past months, and imitated a life where I worked but ultimately in a dreamy manner.
So when I arrive to New York, I unpack for a week, drawing out the process because laziness and a rigorous schedule succeed in wearing me out. In the end, the silk and straw conquering my wardrobe single-handedly deal out my autumn dress options. I’ll be styling my summer clothes in the cold.
It’s not as weather-clueless as it may seem, and even then I am quite savvy in ignoring the forecast in favor of an outfit well-put together. My ideas come directly from the visions of my summer, and unsurprisingly, the seventies.
The truly ready for any weather, and dressed with flair and comfort. The groupies and festival-goers do it best. Prepared for the rain and sun alike, a festival uniform should stand out and be versatile, like a parachute. Taking that to the street or office, however, requires a bit of common sense. Do not wear your wellingtons to the office. Avoid the makeshift raincoats and blankets also. Leave the drinks you sneak in your bag at home, unless its very early on a Monday morning. Everything else can be made fit for business meetings and errands with a blazer or a pointed shoe.
Groupie style, however, takes a bit more nerve to pull off. Imagine airport-style and the Beatles and their collision backstage. Tops with ruffled collars and ridiculous colours colliding with flared trousers or maybe denim.
Take a notepad and watch the Saint Laurent film, the “unofficial” one, that is. Dress as Yves and instantly be rad.
A straw bag can go well with a black turtleneck and matching tailored pants, and loafers. A straw hat can do the same.
A collection of shirts with salacious phrases and band paraphernalia go hellishly well with suits.
The more eccentric, the less moody you’ll feel, after all. And Gucci remains a uniform.
I go either for the pyjama look, or an outfit which would look complete only with a guitar in hand.
The mod approach will do your outfits (and your playlist) some good.
Sweaters, printed button downs, and contentious shirts are in.
Blazers, leather jackets, suede and fringe, and pea coats overtop.
High-rise trousers and denim, vinyl and leather pants, cropped and with a flare.
Platform and ankle boots, loafers and chucks.
Ridiculous sunglasses, wide brimmed hats, straw anything, belts, and cheetah print.
Iggy Pop, high-waisted suits, kimonos, maximalism, Saint Laurent “Surf Sound” aesthetic, memories of summer festivals, and Berlin street style.
C’est si is your guide to an autumn as hot as your summer.
– Alice Pylypenko