PaperCity Magazine

May 2019- Houston

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48 Carolina Herrera embellished mini dress $3,990, at the Carolina Herrera boutique, Neiman Marcus, Stanley Korshak,, modaoperandi. com, Manolo Blahnik for Carolina Herrera slide shoe, through Manolo Blahnik, New York, 212.582.3007. Longchamp Amazone Matelassé bag $995, at the Longchamp boutique. been churning out drama-worthy dresses for the past few seasons and continues to do so, as apparently customers are ravenous for more fantasy. These clothes, no doubt, create a cocoon-like shell to protect our privacy in an age when it seems to be seeping away. The alternative is to think of layered maximal- ism as a response to the demand for more modesty in fashion. The rise of a wealthy consumer base in Asia and the Middle East would certainly account for this, as those cultures have a history of modesty in dress, unlike the western hemisphere. In this case, to cover oneself and still make a statement requires a certain level of stylistic expertise: The clothes must speak loudly, defining the wearer's personality and originality. No matter the stem of demand, fairy-tale fashion interpreted through an alien lens of reinvented shapes creates an alternative universe where one can live in fluff and imag- ination, free from Trumpian tweets, riots in Paris, and talks of nuclear armament. Indeed, the choices we make when dressing now — and the clothing designers suggest we arm ourselves with — is not much different than the theory by which we were dressing in a post-war age. The reaction of design to the world events as spewed to us in our 24-hour news cycle is the same phenomenon we saw when cultural shifts influenced fashion from the '80s into the '90s. What goes around always comes back around. Wherever the interpretation may fall, as we look back on this moment years from now, with volume and exaggeration comes excitement — for what makes the heart race more than looking at something that is, quite literally, larger than life. Escapism sprinkled with a dash of drama is what we need to maintain a level of optimism in our polarized times, when no one seems to be able to have a conversation outside of their chosen political lines. Think of it as our Marie Antoinette moment — though we must all hope for a better ending.

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