TThe most anticipated fashion moment of the week wasn’t the Brooklyn Beckham wedding that finally appeared in Vogue, nor the latest “lewk” red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival. No, fashion watchers have been waiting for something more subtle and sophisticated – what will Kate Moss wear to testify in the defamation trial of ex-boyfriend Johnny Depp this week?
For three minutes on the stele, I stood across the video link to explain “Did you fall/Did you get pushed?” staircase question (hey Drops), Moss armed a white, rainbow-patterned blouse.
To the untrained eye, this choice may seem like a perfectly fitted outfit. Not for mousy and fashion educated people. There was always something subtly sabotaged about a bow.
“Historically, this is associated with women who began to invade men’s spaces – the golf course, the workplace – and challenge traditional dress codes,” says Dr. Kate Stradin from the University of Falmouth.
It was published in the sixties by Coco ChanelHer silk blouses go well with more masculine fabrics like tweed. But in 1966, when Yves Saint Laurent customized a tuxedo trouser suit as a women’s wear to create Le Smoking, smoothing it out with a silk blouse, he made it extreme and became a feminist fashion statement.
“It was the first time it was paired with a pair of pants,” Strasdin says. “There was straight femininity but it was hyper-masculine.”
The 1960s gave the working women of the man’s world a soft power version of the suit and tie (your reference: these crazy badass men of Peggy Olson and Joan Holloway). It was an iron fist in a velvet glove.
It was also a staple in Margaret Thatcher’s arsenal, which she described as “soft and beautiful.”
And as if to remind the world of her rebellious roots, Balenciaga opened her Resort 2023 show at the New York Stock Exchange last Sunday with a model wearing a massive black satin blouse with a lame latex mask.
Kate’s opinion was more polite. She wore it with a pleated black satin jacket, and the look was very intense from Le Smoking: “She almost recreated this iconic 1966 icon. [Helmut Newton] Picture,” Stradin says.
So what could Kate have said? What was she sabotaging?
“It’s a challenge,” says fashion historian Dr. Bethan Bed. “The arc is about to fall back. She says she’s trying less, she feels more rebellious. It’s almost as if she’s saying, ‘I’m not going to give you here.'” It’s a refusal to surrender to the media circus.
“Kate is adept at curling up that line. At first glance, her look is eminently respectable, but it has the real look that provides that throwback.”
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