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STYLE GURU STYLE: So Wrong, It's Right

The legendary fashion house Yves Saint Laurent has gone through an interesting and controversial revamp since the inception of the current creative director Hedi Slimane in 2010. Not only did the ready-to-wear line drop the “Yves” in its name–now calling itself simply “Saint Laurent,” but the traditional and sophisticated designs that were so iconic to the brand and appealed to the likes of my grandmother, have been abandoned for a more avant-garde and rebellious style. Slimane has been applauded for the daring simplicity and accessibility of his designs, and personally, I have been in awe of everything he has created since.

As expected, the spring 2016 menswear collection was no exception. Titled “Surf Sound,” this collection saw a hybridization of the new dark and rebellious grunge vibes that Slimane has been nurturing, with the warm and vibrant color patterns native to the California surf scene. Combining plaid shirts, with bright and flower clad bomber jackets and leopard print scarves, Slimane has managed to turn the some of the biggest fashion no-go’s into bold fashion. His combination of mismatched colors and patterns are cluttered, messy and downright wrong, but through some inexplicable Slimane-esque magic, it works.

Style misses and awkward color combinations are nothing new to college campuses in New England. It’s the birthplace of boat shoes and mid-calf socks, as well as, salmon colored pants with pastel green button-downs. Therefore, I thought it would be appropriate to showcase how to make a fashion miss into a fashion hit.

I’ve been experimenting with ways of combining popular and cheeky European styles with the more mellow styles in the United States, and Slimane’s “washed-up Californian musician” look proved to be an excellent archetype, all I had to do was adapt it to the brisker climate of the northeast. I started an all-black base layer using a pair of skinny chinos and a slim-fit T-shirt. On top of this, I wore an incredibly warm and comfortable red and black flannel shirt which is a staple in every New England resident’s closet. Finally, to finish off my outfit, I threw on a navy varsity jacket from Sandro. This is an excellent embodiment of both the U.S. collegiate style and the bomber jackets featured in this season’s collection.

I also wanted to harness the careless grunge feel of the newborn Yves Saint Laurent. So, I paired the outfit with studded sneakers from Dsquared2 and various leather and metal bracelets. Finally, I needed to capture this season’s theme of bold statement pieces too. As the cherry on top, I chose this Alexander McQueen oversized viscose scarf with a signature Union Jack print and a pair of outrageously obnoxious floral socks in cheerful colors that matched absolutely nothing I was wearing. Mission accomplished.

Get My Look: 1. A red and black flannel shirt. 2. A pair of spiked high-top sneakers. 3. A Union Jack statement scarf. 4. Dior sunglasses.