This week, I set out looking for directional silhouettes, mod influences and bold color play. What I stumbled upon was the sheer genius of Ostwald Helgason, founded by London-based duo Susanne Ostwald and Ingvar Helgason in 2008. Their most recent collection was fresh, fun and relatable—in short, everything I want my outfits to be. So, I began searching for similar pieces to recreate the ninth look from Ostwald Helgason’s resort 2015 show.
The best part about this look is its striking yet deceptive simplicity. A whimsical graphic sweatshirt plus a crisp white button-down paired with a similarly hued striped skirt? That’s basic fashion math anyone could solve. Yet the results still feel innovative and fun, as I found when I donned the ensemble. First, I shrugged on a basic white button-down and zipped up my striped A-line skirt. I seriously felt like I was on my way to an interview, or at least something professional—that is, until I pulled on a sweatshirt from my days of high school robotics. Suddenly, I felt like I was dressed casually enough to hang out with friends, but simultaneously formally enough to, well, go to an interview. What was going on? Now I know: what I experienced, my friends, was a nonchalant phenomenon the fashion world calls “dressy casual.” To bring out the dressy, I added a pair of vintage, over the top pearl and gold earrings. To play up the casual vibe, I settled on my Keds black Champion Originals with striped crew socks and a pair of purple-mirrored sunglasses for good measure. The beautiful versatility of this outfit means it would have looked just as good with sandals or even heels. Trust me, I tried each on. With that last musing, I was off to confuse the rest of the non-fashion world, earning insider winks and appreciative nods from those in the know.
Ostwald Helgason’s resort 2015 collection contained ensembles that were totally visually appealing, yet also simple enough to recreate. The show veritably embodied the energetic spirit of summer, hanging out and vacation. Personally, I really enjoyed taking this outfit out for a spin; it combined my usual quirky prep style with a bit of skater girl carelessness, and was a perfect lesson in sartorial juxtaposition.