Cape – able

Good Morning, darling readers, what bugs you more  – that I named this post Cape-able, or that I opened it with a shot of Gwen Stefani, who you all hate. Really, why do so many people hate Gwen Stefani? Is it because of her dumb Harajuku Girls fiasco? It is true that she has not done enough community service to make up for how creepy and wrong that was. And she is married to a boring man and having a boring domestic life. But really? L.A.M.B. is not so bad. (Mute your computer if you hit this link tho, or else have an Casio-reggae ditty in your head forevermore) I even have the perfume in one of those $10 roller tubes from Sephora, and I was wearing it and my sister, who has fine taste, was like: ‘Mmmm, what’s that smell, what are you wearing?’ and I was like, ‘L.A.M.B’ and then she wrinkled her nose like the smell had suddenly turned to farts! But listen, this post is not about Gwen Stefani, who I really don’t care about one way or another though I did have a good moment singing What Are You Waiting For? in a karaoke room once. This post is about CAPE DRESSES! You got your cape in my dress! You got your dress in my cape! Two great looks that look great together! And my obsession was sparked, honestly, by this perfectly lovely one worn by it’s maker in the pages of Elle magazine. It’s so elegant, so classy, with just a hint of wickedness. Really lovely.

About the title – my alternatives were Cape Fear, but I am unafraid of this wonderful trend. Or Cape Cod, which makes no sense. Or, Caped Crusaders, but no one is crusading for anything in these outfits. No, a lady just enjoys life and feel a burst of gratitude that hers is fortunate enough to have brought her such a fine piece of clothing. Onward.

I love this piece from Moon Spoon Saloon, designers out of Copenhagen who perhaps got stoned on some Copenhagen weed, put a bunch of rhyming words in a fanciful hat and selected the name of their line at random. Whatevs, they make really interesting clothes, many with a crazed Goth meets disco meets Klaus Nomi bent, and suddenly they change the color palette and all their Goth shapes are in striped pastels and it looks really playful like Peggy Noland, or like the designers went on anti-depressants all at the same time. I love the above piece because it is silk so you know it would feel so good to wear and be all drapey and wonderful, and it also looks sort of like a caftan which I also like. Like you could dress it up or schlump it down with a pair of bohemian sandals and be all, Where’s the beach? I’ve got such a great mellow buzz going from this Copenhagen weed.

Oh yeah and Moon Spoon Saloon made this excellent cape jumper. You can’t exactly appreciate the smart way they draped the back in this picture, but this is the picture you’re getting because the others were a speck, so trust me. Caped jumper! Two  more great tastes that taste great together. Keep these hybrid beasts coming! Also, please spend a moment contemplating those shoes. They look like lumps of ore and crystal wrenched from the crust of a far-away planet! Who knows what powers they harbor! Oh god this all just brought back my dream from last night, where I was at the city dump, but the city dump actually sifted through everything extracting all the treasures and you got to go wander through this maze of an old wooden house stuffed with all these goodies and you could take whatever you want! Oh and I was also dating this really suave man who was secretly planning to blow up a bridge and kill all these people and I had to tell him that I couldn’t sleep with him anymore if he was going to do that. Full moon in Scorpio! Anyway . . . .

Another sweet number, this one from Richard Nicoll.

I love this swingy, beachy dress from Junya Watanabe. Now this one is Cape Cod! Right? Right? But – where’s the cape, you ask.

There it is! So cute, right? I think wearing this piece would make you feel protected, somehow. From what I have no idea. But it seems like it has your back, in a cozy way. And even though it is a Japanese designer piece that certainly costs thousands of dollars, it just seems like you could sit in the sand in it, gazing out at the magnificent ocean.

Back to GOTH. Here is an Alexander Wang piece from a season or so ago when he was all bonkers about velvet. It’s merging a bunch of different retro looks together here, like 90s baby doll dresses and cut-aways, plus, like a peignoir from the late 60s/early 70s. The lace train? There were all those caped chiffon party dresses in the 60s, and this sort of looks like that too, all sliced and diced in the wonderful fashion food processor that is Alexander Wang’s mind.

I really like this YSL dress from last year. I love the sweet secretary bow, and the way the cape comes over the front of the shoulders. And I love that it’s purple! I just retired my only purple item, a thrifted wool mini dress, to my To Be Sold pile. Now I have no purple! What will I wear when I am an old woman? BTWs, hate those mohawk shoes. Cowlick shoes, more like.

Look, even club sluts can get in on the caped dress action! This either is a sort of poor-man’s version of the largely elegant cape dress, in which all it’s ladylike attributes have had its inhibitions lowered with a club drug, or it’s a raising of the bar on boring, trampy club clothes, bringing a superior design and giving you a fun fluttery piece of fabric to play with on the dance floor. Do I sound like I hate women? I don’t! I just like throwing the word slut around, like everyone else. I don’t mean it in a bad way. This is by Stolen Girlfriends Club, which has a design team comprised of what appears to be a trio of choads who don’t seem to care whether or not a design works, so long as the lady’s midriff if maximally exposed. This is one of their more tasteful garments.

Grand Finale: My favorite cape dress of the moment, by Tsumori Chisato, who I guess I’m really into right now! I love the simple white and the cute bright stripes! It brings the cape dress out of it’s association with upper-middle-class key parties of decades past, and into something younger and more playful without sacrificing the style’s innate elegance. Well done, Tsumori! What about the stockings, which look like incredible fragile, sheer, faint stripes. I hate it so much I love it! I’m pretty sure I dig those shoes, too. Okay, that’s it. I’m off to attempt to teach something about writing and life to four classes of high school students who are all smarter than me. It’s my job. 

About Michelle Tea

I chanted "I am a fashion magnet" in the shower and subsequently found a Gianni Versace - era Versace skirt at Buffalo Exchange for $17. Once I got a beyond-my-means Fendi purse for free and sat staring at it, crying. Also cried at Olivier Theyskens' last show for Nina Ricci in Paris. Other things that make me cry: a good lip synch; my emotions. I have stolen two Jeremy Scott swag items from two Jeremy Scott events I was not quite invited to. Sometimes I want to age into Patti Smith, sometimes Baby Jane Hudson. I frequently dream I am in a magic thrift store where I can have whatever I want. I regret not buying the Alexander Wang purse when it was half price at Barney's. Like a delusional guy at a strip club, I feel special when the people who work at Barney's remember me. Having a Leo rising gives me big hair and a need for attention. My favorite designers right now are Alexander Wang, Philip Lim, Proenza Schouler, Vivienne Westwood, Viktor Rolf, Rick Owens, Rodarte, Helmut Lang and Surface to Air. I was once shamed by an employee of a high-end department store for pronouncing 'Rodarte' incorrectly.

One comment

  1. Monsieur McBee

    Michelle, you are a world-class lady and totally would look amazing in a cape dress! In other news, I am 100% shocked that Michael von Braithwaite–who spent years declaring her desire to knife fight Gwen Stefani–has not outlined for you her very specific reasons for so disliking her. I am sure that is about to happen. Anyway, CAPE DRESSES! Do it!

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