Male Box: Fringe Is The Bee’s Knees

May 13, 2013 • Magazine, Male Box


Fashionable New Yorkers are abuzz over the long awaited arrival of the remake of The Great Gatsby. While the Baz Luhrmann directed visuals are surely stunning, Mrs. Luhrmann AKA Catherine Martin is the name on everyone’s lips. Her collaboration with Miuccia Prada on the film’s costumes was the topic of a well attended 12-day exhibit at the Rem Koolhaas-designed Prada store in New York’s SoHo. The costumes for Carey Mulligan’s Daisy Buchanan were inspired by Prada’s current Spring Summer 2013 collection and feature all the hallmarks of roaring 20’s fashion design – feathers, fur & fringe. If you follow such things then you already know that the jewels were designed by Tiffany & Co. and the menswear by Brooks Brothers.

I resisted the not insignificant urge to turn to the Spring 2013 Haute Couture collections to add a dash of Gatsby to your summer wardrobe. Instead, I found plenty of flapper fashion in the current ready-to-wear collections that will pep up your summer whether you are a madcap heiress or not.

The Gatsby costumes are anything but restrained, but the original inspiration for them was pure Miuccia modern minimalism. Perhaps you’ll pay tribute to Gatsby with Prada’s origami minidress emblazoned with a massive daisy. Leave it to Ms. Prada to do floral for spring in a totally unexpected way.

Ralph Lauren’s recent sponsorship of PBS’s airings of the hugely popular Downton Abbey may have influenced his recent collections or perhaps vice versa. It’s a fashion chicken-or-egg situation if ever I saw one. Regardless, you need look no further than Lauren’s current collection for flapper era beading and embroidery. The three-quarter sleeves leave plenty of room for an armful of bangles – or your collection of diamond bracelets from would be suitors.

I found little fur and only a smattering of feathers in the current collections, but fringe abounds. Trade in your trusty LBD for a beaded fringe dress from Nina Ricci. Peter Copping has really found his groove at the much revered fashion house and his designs always feature that particular brand of Parisian chic. You may not be headed to Paris this summer, but you can bring a little bit of Paris with you to any event you attend.

Lydia Maurer’s debut collection for Paco Rabanne was awash in the minidresses that made the brand famous almost 50 years ago. One silvery grey dress in particular stands out as the perfect juxtaposition of restraint and exuberance that will suit you well at any summer cocktail party.

Hedi Slimane’s debut collection for Saint Laurent was perhaps even more hotly anticipated than the opening of The Great Gatsby. As with any new designer at a fabled house, he dug deep into the archives to draw inspiration from the brand’s formative collections. All the YSL trademark looks were there: Le Smoking, animal prints and, of course, Marrakesh! The 4 foot fringe on the maxicoat will put flimsier flapper wannabes to shame wherever you go.

Lest you think that fringe this season is a French thing, look no further than America’s own Rodarte. You’ll be right on top of the current black-and-white trend in this strapless evening gown with an Angelina Jolie-high slit peeking through a tantalizing apron of fringe. The tailored bodice, flirty fringe and flowy skirt are the perfect mix of movements to compliment your 1920s dance moves like the ‘Charleston’ or the ‘Shimmy’.

Whether your idea of a summer party is a catered BBQ on the perfectly manicured lawn of your sprawling Long Island estate or sunset cocktails on a rooftop, you can add a dash of roaring 20s fashion to any event.

– Joseph Ungoco


Image Layout: Ronshulay Pennington

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