Style file: Mesh

Those who have been watching Project Runway or Under the Gunn may well have noticed that mesh is currently the hottest fabric around. Mesh as a concept has been updated and modernized since it’s first incarnation of street fashion beginning with punk and them becoming mainstream courtesy of Madonna.

Despite suffering the indignity of being relegated to men’s muscle shirts fit only for the tackiest of gym rooms, mesh has made a fashion comeback and is once again readily available. The nature of the textile lends itself to layering either with other fabrics to create a frame for a statement undergarment or, alternatively, mix layers of different mesh sizes to create a trompe l’oeil moire effect. Either style is a very simple shabby or boho chic way to create an ensemble, especially when combined with something as basic as stonewashed or distressed denim.

Alternatively, go with clothing that has mesh panels to show of that extra bit of skin, while still being conservative enough to not be considered immodest as the temperatures finally start to warm.

It is also a fabric that can suit every wallet, we found a plain white mesh t-shirt in Boomerang (3900 Pennsylvania Avenue [816] 531 6111) for the princely sum of $7.50!

For those who are interested, we made this capsule selection of what is available just from the Plaza.

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Forever XXI Liquid crop top with mesh sleeves $13.80

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From the Urban Outfitters Sparkle and Fade range $20 to $50

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Gap mesh sleeved sweater $45

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BCBG Jalen mesh & sequin top$300

Macy’s

It’s sad when a store closes, doubly sad when the Macy’s at the Metcalf South Shopping Center. This marks the end of an 8 year tenancy for Macy’s who took over from The Jones Store when Federated Department Stores Inc., the owners of Macy’s, merged with May Department Stores Co. The Jones Store had been at Metcalf since it initially opened way back in 1967.

 

The closing sale will go on until the end of March although the longer you wait the less likely you’ll be able to find real bargains. However, on a note for stylists etc, Macy’s is selling everything, even the fittings, which means that there are clothing rails and mannequins available for purchase which is definitely worth a thought. We are looking to get at least one of each.

 

 

Style file: Leggings

You may think that leggings owe their existence to the creation of lycra/spandex, but you would be wrong. Leggings, originally worn by men throughout the Middle Ages – and also known as hose – have been recorded as far back as the 1300s and a similar style was also worn by Native Americans in the form of what we call buckskins.

The creation of lycra and spandex in 1958 and 1959 respectively led to a new world of textile creation with leggings, in the modern form, first appearing in the 1960s; although Patricia Field claimed that she created the modern woman’s legging in the late ’70s to early ’80s. As a fashion trend, dance/fitness started to hit the street in the 80s courtesy of shows like Fame and the movie Flashdance. However, these were almost entirely monochromatic, and mainly black, with perhaps an accent color as stripe. Come 2005 and metallic and ‘wet look’ leggings started to make an appearance with ‘meggings’. the male version, being championed on the catwalk by Marni in 2007.

However, there is a new breed of legging which, although having been around for a while, is currently bang on trend. Gone are the staid, safe, conservative single color leggings to be replaced by bold new designs using palettes and styles that would be worthy of Roy Lichtenstein at his boldest. Spearheaded by companies such as China’s Romwe  and Black Milk (with an initial budget of $6 Australian, no less) which both started in 2009, we now see beyond bold prints and patterns, from the loud to the downright surreal, often with blatant pop culture references/inspiration. Want leggings that look like muscles? You can get them. A machine gun leg a la Cherry Darling in Planet Terror? Yep. Iron Man armor? Available. Unicorns prancing under a rainbow? They exist. And a myriad of other equally flamboyant styles.

Originally most of these designs were only available online – indeed Black Milk is still only available online – but the fashion mainstream has caught onto this new, vibrant and exciting youth trend so that now some of these fabulous pop art canvases are available in mainstream high street stores. Andy Warhol would be so proud.

With that in mind, we took a tour of KC to see what was currently available.

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Spacecats  from Target with Neoncats from H&M  (plus Cheeky Cat the stylist/model coach)

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Abstract and blue striped interference leggings from Forever XXI

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Catface from Hot Topic, Pow! from Forever XXI

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Floral rose print from Forever XXI

(Models: Erin & Shelli)