Thursday, November 1, 2012

Ms. Duma and Her Coats
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           November 1st:  The weather slowly slips from a teasing nip of wind (or ironically not so teasing--Holler to Hurricane Sandy) to hints of winter frigidity. In other words, our fall jackets will soon be replaced by winter coats. Like journalist Amanda Fortini, I too once believed that winter coats were “the sartorial equivalent of a pie crust: an inferior exterior ruining the whole darn thing.” Your precisely coordinated outfit, your sleek pencil skirt, and your ironic sweater are all captives under the prison you call a coat. The question remains: How can you not bear a slight grievance against your winter shield?
           The answer is: Get motivated to no, not wear, but flaunt your winter topper like Russia’s ex-Harper’s Bazaar editor (currently freelance writer) Miroslava Duma. Miroslava Duma’s experimental and show-stopping personal style will be featured in an upcoming “St-EYE-lista: The Editor’s Version” column (which begins in January). Until then—let’s focus on Duma’s ability to work a winter coat like nobody’s business. Her coat collection consists of vivid color, intricate pattern, and high-end designer labels—you know, the kind of coats a university student or freshly employed young woman would surely have in her wardrobe (insert stifled snort or roll of the eyes right here).
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Former Harper's Bazaar (Russia) editor and present freelance writer Miroslava Duma in basic black.
          YET, keep in mind that you don’t have to own an exclusive Burberry or Chanel account to take fashion cues from Duma. Her creative winter style can be adapted to those on a budget as well. Read on to see how.
Color, Statement Necklaces, and other “Duma-esque” Accessories to Enliven a Coat
    If you do have extra dollars stashed under your mattress, then perhaps you should consider purchasing a colored coat. Unlike an essential black, a colored coat doesn’t have to be an expensive investment. It can merely serve as a refreshing, buoyant alternative on a day that appears especially bleak. In addition, you can cleverly cheer up a coat with a STATEMENT NECKLACE. Like Duma, you will be the portrait of bold beauty.  
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Duma’s philosophy on winter coats in general appears to be “go big or go home.” It’s obvious that she has a penchant for rich color and pattern. Even if she’s wearing an unadorned winter white, you can bet on your Chanel purse that she’ll adorn it. Fuzzy orange mufflers, anyone?
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Mad Men Elegance
There are days when even celebrated style crushes (like Duma) wish to forgo bright hues and unconventional designs in favor of a more muted, lady-like look. For instance, I’m simply goo-goo-ga-ga for Duma’s feminine pink coat shown below. Notice how she amps the classic beauty of her coats with an eye-catching brooch and/or clutch. That’s another budget-friendly way to lend a sophisticated spin to winter layers. 
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Feminine Military
Okay, so an exquisite Burberry trench (as shown on Duma) may not be hanging from our closet yet, but we can still be on-trend and militarize our coat by adding—you guessed it—military accessories. Like Duma, you can pin various “army-like” medallions on your winter topper. Check out local thrift stores (or shop online) for these tiny, quirky treasures.
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Whether she decides to be the epitome of retro elegance or fierce fashion, Miroslava Duma continually proves that winter pulsates more excitedly when you slip on a coat that isn’t the “inferior piecrust” but the darn pie itself.
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