Thursday, January 10, 2008
You needn't go to Africa to embark on a safari. As any city-dweller will tell you, it's a jungle out there; a frustratingly impenetrable system rife with complexities that continually thwart successful navigation. While you may not encounter a cheetah, perilous scaffolding, speeding taxis, and job interviews present equally deadly situations for the Grand Mademoiselle. It's no wonder that safari attire and animal prints have found their way into the urban fashion framework. Although dressing like Panama Jack is not exactly chic, there are ways to add a dash of the jungle to any ensemble without looking out of place. The key is to stick with a neutral color palette and don animal prints sparingly. However, the Grand Mademoiselle has a bit of advice that runs contrary to some fashion gurus. Most style experts tend to argue that animal prints or bold pieces should be used to add glamour to otherwise tame separates. Although the Grand M agrees that too much of anything is bad (well…), the components of an outfit should all have a voice of their own. For example, wear a gorgeous pair of Corso Como Fara flats, fashioned of leopard print pony hair with a tiny leather buckle. To put the safari look together, pick a subtle khaki colored pant and a white cotton shirt to offset the boldness of the Fara flat. Granted, a little safari goes a long way. However, don't think that you must resign yourself to a boring pair of chinos and a plain button-down. The best way to make this look work is to mix the overall safari theme with a fashion-forward flair that pays painfully meticulous attention to modern cuts, shapes, and fits. Wear a pair of wide-leg, high-waisted khaki trousers, like Chloe's Loose Fit pleated front pants, which are far from your everyday khaki's. Combined with Helmut Lang's Asymetric fastening white shirt, with its off-kilter mandolin collar and delightfully draped front, the look is chic and fresh, and the quirky cuts and stylized silhouettes shift the focus from the animal print to the entire ensemble. Add a sinfully supple and simple leather tote, like Lauren Merkin's Emma, made of washed lambskin in an offbeat mustard yellow. Follow the entire look up with a knockout ring made of some outlandishly natural substance...designer Stephen Dweck immediately comes to mind. The Grand M is coveting Dweck's Carved Tiger's Eye ring with its luscious flower motif and textured bronze setting. Throughout the look, each piece is a wonder on its own, which is the key to pulling off any themed ensemble. Certainly, be wary of piling the gesture on too thick, but don't forget that the beauty is in the details, and although the theme is safari, the mood is impeccably refined, effortlessly lazy, and remarkably simple yet seriously luxurious. Find both pants and shirt at www.net-a-porter.com, Dweck's lovely jewelry at www.bergdorfgoodman.com, and both bag and flats at www.barefoottess.com. Don't forget to use the code GRANDM at Barefoot Tess to get 15% off your total!