27 September 2018

Cosy Gang: Y-3 AW18

"Nice to Meet You"
Autumn/Winter 2018

My wardrobe goal for this Winter is to be as cosy as possible.

My Crohn's disease has been flaring rather nastily since the middle of Summer, leaving me feeling rather tender as of late (to put it mildly). On most days I would like nothing more than to curl up in bed and hibernate through Winter, but then that would mean I do not get to layer up for the colder months. I am sure that you are tired of anyone and everyone who writes or talks about fashion waxing lyrical about the magic and joys of layering up as we head into Autumn, but I guess it is preferable to pumpkin-spiced Twitter that will soon be flooding your timeline. To be fair the back to school period is actually my favourite time of year, and the time of the year that I most enjoy dressing for, and while I have yet to check out pumpkin-spiced anything, I have a sneaking suspicion I might actually enjoy it, so what the heck. Right about now a nice warm drink and some cosy layers sound like heaven, and that has pretty much been my mindset this year for my Winter wardrobe - I want to keep things as cosy as I possibly can, without looking like I am walking around wrapped up in my duvet. Yes, I know Margiela literally made a duvet coat, but the resale price on an original one of those is five figures, and I would like to forget the H&M collaboration ever happened thanks.

As I have written before, for me this year has been about exploring childhood nostalgia and all the things that ignited my interest in fashion and dress, which I thought was rather fitting for my tenth year blogging. It seems to me that these few months towards the end of the year used to be far colder here in London than they are these days (climate change in action I suppose). I have memories of running around looking like the Michelin man, wrapped up head to toe in order to stave off the cold. Admittedly that could just be because I had cautious parents, but even so, there is something comforting in that thought and feeling for me. I have strong sensory memories of cosy clothing, from padded gloves to thick corduroy trousers and fleece jumpers. I know a lot of people can feel a little claustrophobic wearing snug layers, but I actually enjoy the sensation of a fitted vest and long johns under my clothing. The way it feels in movement is springy and supportive, and thanks to advancements in fabric technology, these base layers are thinner, stretchier, and more breathable than ever. Indeed wearing slightly baggier layers on top provides a nice sensory contrast, because your body feels snug with that base layer, but still gets breathing room under the outer layer of trousers and shirt. That dynamic space, where you are able to see the body ripple against the surface of the cloth when in movement, therefore thankfully still exists. 

Few designers understand the dialectic between body and dress better than Yohji Yamamoto, and so perhaps it is unsurprising that I found the current Autumn/Winter 2018 collection by Yohji and Adidas so appealing. I am ordinarily drawn more to the side of Y-3 where Yohji plays around with tailoring and the formal aspects of dress, but I have to say that this season the actual sportswear looks were wonderfully cosy and inviting. Plus I am a sucker for any look with a blanket scarf (I'd happily rock the big scarf energy from the Lenny Kravitz meme). I actually have a few blanket sized shawls from Pakistan, which are worn in the mountains during the harsh Winters, but have yet to really play around with the styling and tying past a general wrap. Seeing the variations in scarf styling in this show has me thinking of a few different techniques I can try out to get comfortable. In general sportswear for me has always been about comfort. I was never a particularly sporty child, but I enjoyed the way that the clothing felt (rugby short shorts aside...if I never pick up a rugby ball again it will be too soon). Therein also lies the two extremes of my childhood - the formality and rigidity of school uniform, and the sportswear that surrounded me on the street and in life outside of school (wearing a matching tracksuit was seen as "dressing up"). I often feel like I am trying to find a way to bring both elements together in some fashion. My wardrobe has veered to both ends, but I usually find myself happiest where I can blend both in the way that Yohji seems to do so effortlessly. I know a lot of people only care about Y-3 for the sneakers, but I am actually the exact opposite - all I really care about are the clothes. 


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