Trend Story: Grandma Chic
“Is that your grandma’s sweater?” how often have we been mocked and ridiculed through years of adolescence to be all found at some point in a lumpy sweater that Nana so adoringly stitched for us. Don’t stare down at those buckled moccasins in shame anymore as they must have just upped your style quotient.
A bizarre trend has taken over the fashion forefront, pursuing even the most chic lasses to dig into grandma’s trinket box and fish out those pearls. As today’s fashion landscape evolves at a blinding speed, there are trends and then mini trends and then some micro trends. Pair your tiny ‘baguette’ with an even tinier pouch or twist a paisley neck-scarf underneath your chambray shirt – you get the drift. Basically everything is a trend today.
The revered are the new it-girls of fashion and are pioneers of a rather comforting fact: you can be stylish at any age. There are numerous examples of how this infectious phenomena is spreading far and wide. One classic example is how brands such as Celine and Kate Spade are using former models and how fashion icon Iris Apfel at 93, in all her embellished glory is now a popular name amongst twenty somethings. There’s also Advanced Style, a blog that curates the style of aging fashionistas all across the world, capturing their uniquely flamboyant and sophisticated personal dressing sense.
I think this fascination with mature muses is great. It strengthens the classic notion of timeless fashion and revives the vitality of fashion eras that have built a strong design base for fledgling designers today. More importantly with every second glossy page of a magazine either reflecting Miss Kardashian’s amples or 6-feet models swathed in shiny perspex, what if I want to put on my tortoiseshell frames with a rather full liberty print skirt?
Grandmothers have been inspirations around the world, they have a style that is so innate and unabashedly frivilous that only adds to their eccentricity. An Indian online magazine Motherland recently curated a series of images capturing Catholic women from the Portuguese suburb of Bandra, Mumbai. Toothless grins, print on print, pleated skirts and bows galore – here were all the looks from this season’s F/W collection.
On the runway there seems to be a plethora of depictions of this trend. What amuses me the most is how Gucci’s former sex-fueled image replete with slinky dresses has been transformed into a geek-chic brigade. Freshly appointed creative director Alessandro Michel sent down coy, almost gawky girls in voluminous pussy bow blouses under sweater vests, tired midi dresses and pleated metallic skirts. Miu Miu on the other hand adopted a more sophisticated path with a whirlwind of prints – houndstooth and breton stripes- all deliciously merged in pea coats, frilly blouses and pinafore dresses; the icy pastel baubles were true to theme.
An interesting spectacle was Saint Laurent’s vixens that paraded in little polka dot frilly dresses and bow tunics – all with an overwhelming cloud of punk pungency.
Whether you want to pull off a head to toe dowdy look or add just a dash of it, remember to do it in style. Pick vintage pieces of character such as anything with lace, bejeweled broaches, resin frames and a plush silk blouse. These are fool-safe elements to enhance your advanced style.
Written by Tanya Mehta