I could be okay with it if it were the giant bow OR the random fabric sash or the zebra stripes, but all three together just make me think, “do other New Yorkers seriously walk by people dressed like this, or is it just Sart?”
Oh, but I’m tired of this look, particularly when sported by people old enough to have worn it the first time around. (I don’t mean the subject of the photo, as I can’t tell how old she is.) Funny how it seems somehow misguided, uninformed, unformed, somehow; perhaps I’m just projecting the age(s) I was when these 1980s looks were first popular, but there is something so underdeveloped about this look to me.
What an odd way to wear the scarf – she seriously must be going to 80′s fancy dress party cause those earphones can not be for real in the age of ipods??? its OTT of the OTT’s which makes it so 80′s. Is the bow joined to the ear phones?? – please elaborate. I can not stop looking and noticing new things. Its shameful to admit but i am capitvated. Good work sart
I’ve never liked the 80s typical fashion, I can’t stand T-shirts with written things on them and those zebra leggings… ufff. And this look would dramatically improve without that black useless thing hanging there.
However, her anorak, bag, glasses and shoes are nice. I also like the thing she put on her head. And her hair and makeup are pretty.
In theory, I like the playful proportions but as a real live outfit – no thanks. Aside from the head wrap and the low hanging black vest.. thingie, there is nothing here that is actually lovely or special. It strikes me as just mostly based on irony, which is not truly lasting style.
I do not like this at all. There is a difference in standing out and working way too hard to stand out. She has way too many drastic fashion elements going on here. I think that each of these items could be used in different outfits MUCH better.
It’s hard to remember that there was once a clear distinction between ‘street style’ and ‘fashion.’ Madonna, Katharine Hamnett, Steven Sprouse, Vivienne Westwood and others wiped out that distinction in the 80′s, and this young lady has chosen to remind us precisely how it was done. I find the general squeamishness about 80′s fashion amusing considering the fashion establishment will allow any amount of 60′s and 70′s reminiscence from the likes of Marc and Tom.
This young lady’s look is not true nostalgia, it’s more akin to the 40′s/Art Deco revival of the 70′s – those who were there the first time found that horrifying as well.
I see you taken heed and began creeping into Brooklyn!! I’m sure the pictures on the site are going to get a lot more interesting than this!! Love this…i love when people revisit eras and make it their own!
The 80Â´s fashion has been by far the worst in fashion history and it is such a big faux pas dressing like that nowadays. In the case of the girl in the pic the outfit make her looks fat, clumsy almost like some one who dress herself completely blinded.
I’m not too crazy about this look. I usually like references to pop culture in the past and your photos in general, but this one… not radical enough or something. Her hair is wrong and that’s the main problem I think. The entire look is not fun enough and looks slightly forced.If you’re going to go Madonna-desperately seeking susan route, do it all the way.
She is paying tribute to the Madonna-wannabe look of 1985–but, if you can take away the bow, replace the “Choose Life” shirt with just a vest/tank, and trade in the zebra pattern of the leggings with a solid one, she’s got a daft sense of style and a great sense of proportion with the modern sensibilities of the Japanese and Belgium designers like Rei Kawakubo and Ann Demeulemeester. And the color palette is extremely restraint– just black and white with shades of beige. The only bright color is in her red lips.
I usually like everything on the site but this one not so much. I’ve been sick of this hipster/80s stuff a lot lately. I just feel like its cool to reference it but a full on 80′s outfit that is so not flattering is not cute. She looks like she spent a lot of money to look like that (purse & shoes are cute).
On another note. When is the Sartorialist coming to San Francisco?! Haha love this site.
the shirt doesn’t reference her poliical beliefs, she’s just chanelling George Michael. I believe it’s from Wham’s “Go-go.” I live in Williamsburg…if “Frankie says RELAX” t-shirts start appearing, I’m outta there.
It was a Katharine Hamnett t-shirt worn in a Wham! video back in the 80s. In the context of the day, it was directed at drug abuse and suicide. Hamnett herself has stated that the slogan was never intended to be an anti-abortion message.
Anonymous 11:50 AM–For Katherine Hamnett, who designed the shirt, the message was not anti-abortion. The anti-abortionists simply appropriated what for Hamnett had been an essentially antidrug, antiviolence message. She herself is prochoice.
The whole ‘choose life’ slogan originally was used by Katherine Hamnett to target the historical context of the 80s, of drug abuse problems as well as suicide. However, the slogan has in recent years been adopted by the pro-life movement. Hamnett herself has stated that the slogan was never intended to be an anti-abortion message and that she believes in women having a choice.
it’s a very NICE reinterpretation of the cinematic/magazine version of the 80′s, but no where near the reality…hahahahaha None of us could’ve ever afford the cost of this lil look she has adorned. Cute to see the kids reaching backwards to revive the recent fashi-history!
PS she is every other University kid walking around England, especially Leicester where I am based!!
How old do I feel explaining the “Choose Life” t-shirt? The shirt become an iconic fashion statement in the 80′s. It was designed by Katherine Hamnett and made popular when it was worn by George Michael and Wham! in their video, “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go”. 80′s fashion (and music) was, for the most part, about being outlandish and ridiculous- that was what made it fun. Most of us who participated in a trend the first time around can’t stand it when it reappears. Let the young ones have their fun- and photos of their own that they will look at in 20 years and question their judgment.
This is possibly the best-done 80s throw-back outfit I’ve seen in a while. I love the purse, leggings and shoes. I love how she’s just really gone for it, and the result to me is like: wow. She knows what she’s doing and it comes off as pretty polished. About as good as it gets when it comes to this look; bravo.
I’m sorry…but I honestly can’t see the appeal of this at all. yes, she stands out. but sometimes standing out isn’t necessarily the best/only thing to work towards. And her shirt…not at all my favorite.
@anonymous at 11:50- The CHOOSE LIFE shirts are a Katherine Hamnett design from the early 80′s. The best place to see an original one is in Wham’s video for “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go”. (oooh! yeah, yeah, yeah)
According to Wikipedia, the slogan was originally directed at drug abuse and suicide, but has since been adopted by the pro-life abortion movement.
The t was created in the early ’80s by the hugely influential British designer Katharine Hamnett. She claims the slogan had nothing whatsoever to do with abortion, and was intended to endorse healthy behavior among women (for example, to “choose life” over the tyranny of drug addiction). Nonetheless, anti-abortionists co-opted the slogan, and have used it in every way imaginable. In Florida, for example, you can order specialty license plates with the slogan. Hamnett says she is re-staking her claim to it, and has re-issued the t-shirt.
By the way, this is as good a time as any to comment that, like all of you, I’m hooked on this blog, and for all the reasons cited here routinely. But I also find the Sartorialist an absolute oasis of good will in a virtual world that’s becoming more vitriolic every day. It’s a downright pleasure to watch intelligent people disagree with wit and restraint, and offer up opinion in such a sensitive fashion. This has become a very cool community.
I’m rather surprised by the number of comments wondering whether she’s going to an 80′s themed party. Pardon me, but who needs a party to have fun with fashion? What’s wrong with waking up and saying, “today I want it to be 1984″ or “today I wish I were Katharine Hepburn” or “I’m feeling a bit like Joan of Arc this morning”. Can we all try to reclaim getting dressed in the morning as playing dress up? And is it really so wrong to want to enjoy fashion, even from the 80′s?
And as far as the shirt goes: I may be mistaken, but the first thing I think of when I see the shirt is that great quote from Trainspotting which is too long to reproduce here in its entirety. However, the more likely suggestion is that it has not to do with abortion or Irvine Welsh, but rather, with suicide prevention.
Absolutely love, love, love what this woman is wearing. And the ways she mixes all those elements together to create a unique and A-M-A-Z-I-N-G outfit. Brava!!!!!!!!! And how about those shoes ladies? I want them. Someone tell me where i can get them quickly. Goodness gracious, i haven’t been so excited since we invaded Iraq.
A Katherine Hamnett tank, Simply Vera jacket, American Apparel pants, Jeanasis sweater (not a scarf or sash), Nine West pumps, Marc by Marc bag, Apple 30 gig ipod, Audio Technica headphones. All were purchased from Buffalo Exchange where I work: I did not pay a fortune.
I’m wearing this outfit because that’s what I want to wear and thats enough for me. I’d be “trying too hard” if I had to dress in a way that was accepted by everyone.
I love it. She’s having fun. And to all those that said ‘Oh Please, enough’ IN the 80′s it was ‘cool’ to bag the 70′s as the ‘decade that style forgot’. Now we bag the 80′s. They were both distinctive happy-to-wear-the-fashion decades for me. And the noughts although nearly over don’t seem to have produced any trends that really set this decade apart…
Katharine Hamnett’s original CHOOSE LIFE t-shirt brought her worldwide fame. It was her biggest seller in the eighties and now it’s back and available in 100% organic cotton.
CHOOSE LIFE first appeared in a Buddhist exhibition that Lynne Franks, of Ab Fab fame, hosted. The CHOOSE LIFE t-shirt embodies an all-encompassing statement about ideal behaviour.
It’s not about the anti-abortion lobby. The US anti-abortion lobby attempted to appropriate CHOOSE LIFE. We are taking it back and promoting its real meaning. Ours is authentic and I believe in a woman’s right to choose.
I’m a big fan of Buddhism. To portray the message more clearly, I suggested writing it in huge letters on a t-shirt that could be plainly seen on a 35mm contact sheet.
CHOOSE LIFE was relevant then. CHOOSE LIFE is even more relevant now.
i think that the look would feel bottomless and empty without the giant ‘sash’ people have agreed to call it. imagine it without. not so good anymore? The whole effect however seems somewhat imbalanced with the large bag. perhaps she should wear a disclaimer on her back as to the nature of the shirt… we wouldn’t want someone as fabulous as this to be misread as using the shirt pro-life…
This look reads waaaay more british Banarama rather than mid-eighties Madonna. Nor was Madonna the progenitor of this look – she simply borrowed the style of New York girls already dressing like this when she arrived from Detroit. All the funny and cool 80′s girl really wanted was to look like Lisa Bonet or Molly Ringwald.
Well, from someone who wears Kiton suits from Barneys for work, and homemade outfits from 1930s, 40s, 50s and 60s vintage dress patterns in my own time and space, I wouldn’t be expected to think this girl’s ensemble is incredibly well put together — but I do! Her style displays a level of sophistication other commenters aren’t finding (sadly). She looks terrific! Her jacket is the one item, that for me, stops the otherwise 80s-themed look from being overwhelming and cliched, with a wonderful color, and style; and the sleeves ruched up the arms — a perfect choice! As was the taffeta-like bow tied around her head.
people should do their research. the t-shirt has nothing to do with the pro-life movement if it is a katherine hamnett original. hamnett made the t-shirt in reference to the drugs and alcohol lifestyle she witnessed back then. she’s in fact pro-choice. she hated that the t-shirt got misappropriated for something she doesn’t agree with.
I am not a lover of 80′s fashion. However, I like how she updates the classic Madonna 80′s look by adding platform heels and the bag which is also rather current. I think there is some innovation in the outfit, as the two items I mentioned blend perfectly with her vintage pieces. Jorge from West Palm Beach
Love the Marni inspired shoes(maybe even real?), and the uniqueness shown with pieces that would otherwise be bland. Zebra adds visual texture and balances her outfit while the draped scarf adds dimension and layering. Spunky taste and well put together outfit. -Sasha
My best friend is a close co-worker with Katherine Hamnet. Consider this message as shared with her and team! Greetings from le 9eme in Paris… I actually read about you in a Norwegian newspaper. how does it feel to have the world in your hand?!
Keep up the good work, and who knows, your next gun victim might be me in my leisure suit.
To be honest she looks terrible. The result is not as good as she expected to be because nothing matches the other.She needs to take off the zebra leggins as well as the bow on her hair.Note that her shoes and glasses are good.