Links of the Whatever – December 24, 2019

Hi everyone! Here are some articles and blog posts I’ve enjoyed recently. I hope you are all enjoying the holidays or at least (if in the northern hemisphere) that we can now look forward to increasing amount of sunlight.

McKinsey: State of the Fashion Industry 2020

McKinsey made a big ol fat report (link is to the summary, and they provide a pdf download of the full report. Don’t be scared of the length in pages, as it’s formatted more like a magazine with lots of pictures and infographics so it’s quick to skim and it doesn’t even start until 10 pages in). It includes interviews with various industry professionals.

Their take was that overall things continue to look pretty bleak for the industry as a whole, although there are exceptions of brands that are doing well, which tend to either be on either end of the market (Hermes, LVMH; Hanes, Primark). I feel like generally a slowdown for the fashion industry is probably for the best, though I always wonder who it is that takes the brunt of the fallout when companies tank.

You can find some discussion of the article on the malefashionadvice subreddit (thanks to u/MFA_nay for submitting the link, as this is how I learned about it)

Vox: Brand obituaries

Vox had a cute piece with faux brand obituaries for companies that went out (actually went out, not just filed for bankruptcy and continued chugging along) in the 2010s. It was more of a personal anecdotes sort of thing as opposed to any grand analysis of the companies or unironically considering corporation people, where the writers wax poetic on some aspect of their youth which involved the activities or ideas related to one of the brands, like discovering new movies through friend recommendations at Blockbuster, or having Charlotte Russe be the only teen/young adult fashion-forward brand accessible in Burlington, Vermont.

One that I found interesting was the blurb on American Apparel. They went out before I graduated from college, so I never had the disposable income to shop there, but (issues with the creep CEO aside, that’s another can of worms) I was always intrigued by the concept that at one point there was a store dedicated to sexy basics of reasonable quality. I’m not aware of any brick and mortar store that fits that niche currently, although it’s not like I actively scour for that either. I feel that in the later 2010s we’ve definitely moved away from all the bodycon lowrise all the things, which is great, but on the other hand I’d like to live in a world where there were brands focused on sustainability and ethics which were not  just “sexless ‘elevated basics'”.

On Twee

In my continued fascination with the somewhat defunct cutesy style that is twee, I read a discussion thread on YouLookFab forum (a style forum that has a lot of actual discussion, and seems to be a little less anxious than r/femalefashionadvice, though the userbase skews much older and the style preferences accordingly) about why twee seems to always be presented as an inherently bad thing, and an article from the BBC cataloguing the Rise of Twee.

In the past decade it’s been interesting to see the swing from ubiquitous cloyingly cute style to gothninja to minimalism to the current explosion of less youthful but romantic and fanciful styles of giant sleeves and square necklines (of course many styles can rise and fall in overlapping times, but you know what I mean).

DIY Makeup Palettes

This is an old post from the makeup subreddits, but I’ve been thinking about this post by u/Hellodeeries where she shared how she made custom art themed eyeshadow palettes. They are super cute and whenever I finally use up my ancient Naked palette I think I will probably do this since I only use about 4 colors now anyway.

It was a bit hard to find the extended comment explaining the how-to, but you can read that in this supplementary post

Vogue: All fashion is internet fashion now

Vogue had a short article pointing out that for the first time, Google Trends’ annual report didn’t bother at all with traditional designer fashion, but rather focused on celebrity fashion and particular styles like VSCO Girl style which were popular searches. I don’t know that there can really be any solid conclusion from that, and whatever Google marketing decides should make it into the report, traditional design houses certainly are not completely irrelevant, but I thought it was interesting.

In the blogosphere

Ethan Wong of the Style x Sprezza blog has a post explaining how he likes to wear turtlenecks as a base layer.  As someone who doesn’t do suits or menswear, hardly anything in his blog is directly applicable to my own style, but I like reading his posts because he often goes over historical context as well as various ways a particular element can be used before explaining his personal approach to incorporating it. Like in this article, he explains how he prefers more rugged styling in the rest of his outfit for it to lean more crunchy prep rather than disco dandy.

box turtle.jpg

Here is Old Red the box turtle, who proudly wears a turtleneck 24/7.

Adina of Blue Collar Red Lipstick posted her best of 2019 outfit round up. I love her approach to personal style where she has a few “style avatars” to categorize different types of outfits she likes to wear rather than attempting to curate one all-encompassing style. Plus, her outfits are creative and fabulous.


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