Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Graphic Sweatshirts

It’s Just A Little Bit Graphic...
        Graphic sweatshirt. What is that reminiscent of? Weekends spent on the sofa with beer and chips? Your middle-school pajama top? The one that  proudly boasted your Backstreet Boys fandom? (Ah! Those were the days). But let's rewire our attitude towards this "lazy Sunday" staple. 

        The graphic sweatshirt has debuted as one of the season’s hottest trends. Believe it or not, slipping on your college or bird-print sweatshirt is actually au courant. My fellow “creatures of comfort”: Our dreams have finally come to fruition. It turns out that fashion CAN be deliciously comfortable.
        Those who consider this trend to only be “teenage-friendly” should realize that graphic sweaters look surprisingly sophisticated when paired with knee-length pencil skirts. Many S/S 2013 Fashion Show’s attendees paired a Kenzo Fall 2012 sweatshirt with a ladylike skirt and polished heels. The result was a fascinating balance of spunk and spiffiness. I love that.
Let's take a look at some of Fall 2012's graphic sweatshirts!

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Balenciaga Fall 2012
Balenciaga’s designer Nicholas Ghesquiere has fashioned this neoprene (a highly flexible, waterproof, and abrasion-proof material) Sci-Fi sweatshirt and transformed it into fall’s “It” item. The painting on the sweatshirt is extremely vivid and fantastical. Perhaps Ghesquiere was inspired by the impending doom of the Apocalypse?

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I love how these two women channel the geekish vibe of the sweater. One opts for clean-cut conservatism with an immaculate pencil skirt, purse, and pumps, while the other adds sweet frills to contrast the boyish sweater and western boots. Ghesquiere’s chest would be swelling proudly if he saw the interpretative genius of his customers.  
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Kenzo Fall 2012
Oh, Kenzo, Kenzo, Kenzo. How we love you. This Japanese designer has quickly amassed a hoard of adoring fans with his jungle-motif collection. Ditching lions and bears this season, Kenzo sketched a ferocious tiger instead. Roar!
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Once again, it’s intriguing to see how people style the same trend in different ways.
Exhibit A: A shimmery skirt, neat ponytail, and elegant accessories provide a debonair twist to the sweatshirt. (Seriously, that outfit is p.e.r.f.e.c.t.) Exhibit B: A collared shirt tucked under a Kenzo sweatshirt and paired with a peplum skirt? An effortless fusion of vintage and modern.
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Jil Sander Fall 2012
Part of Jil Sander’s Fall 2012 collection was designed by none other than the popular Raf Simons.  He clearly drew inspiration from the source of all prep: Ivy League. Doesn’t this photo remind you of a Hogwarts common room? See if you can spot Hermione Granger in the crowd. Anyways, If you read my "Geek Chic" post, then you already know that collegiate style holds a dear place in my heart and in my wardrobe.

Photo courtesy of Jil Sander
Preetma Singh (Associate Marketing Editor of Marie Claire) proudly declares who her alma mater is. The model to her right dons the signature Jil Sander sweatshirt.
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Animal Print Sweatshirts
From Mulberry to Burberry, designers can’t seem to conceal their affection for animal printed sweatshirts. There is always a sense of endearing irony and whimsy when a “childish” garment is thrown in with an otherwise "bourgeois" ensemble. It reflects the complexity of the human being—okay, I’ll stop now before I begin my psychobabble.
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Burberry and DSquared2 models strut the runway
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Cozy in Cartoons
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We may not ditch our cocktail dresses in favor of a Mickey Mouse sweater and ball gown skirt (to wear to a friend's wedding), but many of us secretly wish we could. Am I right?
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 Parting Words on Graphic Sweatshirts
          Whether graphic sweatshirts are up your fashion alley or not, they remain this season’s artsy and blithe statement piece. They also receive more style points when paired with skirts, because it’s less expected than pairing it with, say, a pair of jeans. Classic heels and accessories are the refined antithesis to graphic sweatshirts—and as always “opposites attract.” Above all, bear in mind that your graphic sweatshirt will have a profound effect on your attitude.  For instance, the model portrayed below has a similar expression to the despondent Picasso imagery on her Jil Sander (Spring 2012) sweater...
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....whereas the Kenzo-clad woman is a tigress in her own right. Do you want to frown or be fierce today? Choose your sweatshirt wisely.

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