Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Style Rookies

Between Stella McCartney's GapKids line and J.Crew's consistently gangbusters crewcuts (above), it's clear that kids today are playing in a whole different sartorial ballgame. It's a curious business, though, because getting dressed is inherently somewhat out of a rugrat's control (e.g., what kind of 8 year old is saving up upwards of a hundred quid for Stella's military-inspired waistcoat, replete w/ tassels?). And on top of that, the tininess and portability of kids make them natural accessories -- extensions of their parents's likes and taste.

Similarly, there's no way high-fashion "mode enfantine" magazines like MilK are intended for kids -- which is maybe my own rationalization since I find the idea of a little Capucine studying interior design or fellow kids's "looks de rue" completely terrifying. It's adults that really delight in this stuff; Bruce Weber said last year that Germany's Kid's Wear is "the most beautiful magazine in the world."

But what of the fashionable little tots themselves? Arlo Weiner and Tavi are genuine (if extreme) proof of junior fashion POV (cf: Arlo Weiner quoted in GQ, "There was a period last year where I had an urge to wear neckties every day. A necktie is cleaner and more simple but a bowtie you can match with more outfits."). Both Tavi and Arlo's sartorial inclinations seem at least somewhat self-realized (cf: Arlo's brother!). It's possible that one's basic sartorial attractions -- and the idea of "expressing yourself" in general -- might be purer and less tainted pre-adolescence. By that logic, it makes sense that cute kids in cute outfits would be equally joyful for kids and adults.

Knowing that I was both meticulously styled as a youth and highly opinionated about it, I dipped into my parents files for some of the sartorial highlights of my own youth! There are strong continuities to my adulthood, including but not limited to an affinity for headbands.

A sweet nautical inspired coat:

Feeling cool on my 5th bday:

A nod to Coco Chanel with a bateau tee:

With my still favorite accessory, a 15+ lb. cat:

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