I rarely make fashion predictions. Who knows WHAT happens in that wild, changeable sea of trends that repeat themselves every 4 years or so. Every other spring some magazine, website, or whatnot proclaims spring, [insert year here] the “SEASON OF BOLD FLORALS” like it’s a new thing. This year, though, I’m going to go ahead and make a prediction that fall, 2012 is the season of END OF DAYS STYLE.
Since I’m making predictions, I initially wanted to write this entire post in the style of famed and creepily accurate astrologer Susan Miller. You know, like, “The Hunger Games is moving into the movie listings next month, creating a powerful influence on style that will last nearly a year! It’s a strong force, dear readers, so you need to start the process of preparing yourself now if you want to see the fullest results.” But that’s actually a pretty exhausting writing style, so I’ve instead opted for my own, highly caffeinated style.
Last week I wrote about my experience taking archery lessons, something I got interested in after watching Hanna last year, a movie about a 16-year-old girl who shoots the shit out of a deer in the Arctic, and then also Cate Blanchett while on a broken down old roller coaster (yes, you read that correctly). I think it might have been the only time I had seen a teenage assassin use archery as a special form of deadly force.
Since then, archery has blown up. In recent months, at least 3 people in my Facebook network are taking lessons independently of one another. I realize 3 people isn’t a movement, but I’ve also been seeing articles, Tumblr photos, Pinterest boards, and Tweets about the sport. A couple of weeks ago I had a Twitter discussion with someone about why this might be and came to the conclusion that it’s because of Katniss Everdeen. If you don’t know who Katniss Everdeen is, you need to go purchase all three Hunger Games books immediately and then call in sick to your job for the next week while you find it impossible to stop reading them.
Point being, if this daughter of a coal miner from dystopian Appalachia can revive a sport forgotten about by everyone except for Geena Davis and big game hunters, I’m pretty sure she’s going to influence the landscape of street fashion in some way. Unless the movie is the worst. If the movie is the worst, I’m going to rage rampage in the style of my alter ego, Captain Destruction.
There are a few factors that I think will contribute to the trickle down effect of Hunger Games fashion. For starters, everyone is totally ready for the end of days. Even my mom, who spent a phone call with me two weeks ago debating the finer points of how the whole thing will go down and what will be its results. This isn’t typical of her, by the way. It’s not like I have an apocalypse-crazed mom or anything. That’s my job in the family. Secondly, for better or for worse, the ’90s revival continues to exist in much of the country, and what lends itself better to post-apocalyptic styles than a re-vamped grunge look? Dystopian fashions are the next logical evolution for the neo-nineties. Finally, everyone wants to dress like a hero, and what inspires more thoughts of heroic valor than the phrase “I VOLUNTEER AS TRIBUTE!” (again, if you don’t know what this is, get thee to a bookstore)?
Once Katniss steps into her role as trilogy hero, she turns into THIS:
So, dear readers, what can you do to invoke the aura that you are 100% prepared to hunt your fellow humans in a closed course filled with every horror imaginable?
Get a leather jacket.
Here’s one by Yigal Azrouel that’s pretty boss:
Get a variety of black shirts. I’m not going to post pictures of black shirts, since I’m sure those don’t need explaining. You’ll want to blend into all sorts of landscapes, so make sure they’re as plain and comfortable as possible.
Get a raincoat. Not one of those carnival color ones, not for the end of days.
Try a Norwegian Rain raincoat! Or something similar, since Norwegian Rain is a menswear company and so might not have XXS. But LOOK! So dystopian.
If you want to take the look into the winter, then consider this Burberry parka from 2010, so you can probably find it for less money.
Get some serious boots!
Frye boots are the obvious choice, but not everyone can wear those with confidence. Some people look like Frankenstein’s monster in Frye boots.
And now you’re ready! You probably won’t want to dress like a dystopian hero every day, but if you’re feeling down and out, slip on your Katniss look and stare down every person you pass on the sidewalk. Most of the look is about bearing even more than clothes. You need to have that rebellious, shoulders back, head up stance.
Please, god, no one is advocating cargo pants around here. Don’t take that on. Just get some jeans, or well-fitting black pants or something. DO NOT WEAR CARGO PANTS UNLESS YOU ARE ACTUALLY FIGHTING FELLOW TRIBUTES.
Hunger Games costume designer, Judianna Makovsky, has done a pretty amazing job of communicating the characters’ lived reality through their clothing. She’s managed to get us into the dystopian world they inhabit, while keeping the costumes believable. It’s also interesting that their looks dovetail so well with what’s already going around on city sidewalks all over the place. Who knows, maybe we’re already living in dystopian times! I need to get better at archery!
*NICE Collective photo by Kareem Worrell