Fashion has always been a form of escapism, a way to break away from the daily monotony, the sea of khakis and T-shirts, and the sameness that traps those who don't see the potential of clothing. For those who are really good at fashion, they're able to take us along on their ride, transporting us to a fantasyland, a different time — or at the very least — a different mood. Women cut from that cloth known how to manifest dreams out of fabric, color, and trinkets.
"Heads should turn," says Elaine Newman, resident of Margate, FL. "I like things with flair. I like that someone goes 'wow' when they look at you. I don't ever want to melt into the background, ever, which is why I will never wear beige." We met up with Newman and some of her friends and Floridan neighbors who share a similar perspective about fitting in (you never should) to model some of these season's most whimsical, fantastical, wait-what-is-your-bag? handbags. These women refuse to be invisible, which made them the perfect candidates to show off some fantasy bags that aren't quite what they appear to be.
Louis Levine: "I like the animal print, even though I didn't in the beginning. But I thought it was extremely fashionable. I loved the bags with the cats — I thought it was classy. I felt it was good with my outfit."
Elaine Newman: "I change bags every day, according to what outfit I wear. I would never wear — excuse me — a boring Louis Vuitton bag, because I want the color to match my clothes. And it always does. Everybody always notices it, too."
Enis Notaro: "I loved the eye-catching beauty of the handbags I modeled. They’re truly unique pieces of art. I especially loved the one that resembled a stack of books, reminding us of the importance of reading."
Zoraida Perez: "I never leave the house without earrings, a necklace, my bags, and my shoes! Those things must go accordingly to what I wear! Those bags [I modeled] were beautiful. Simple, but beautiful. And the quality was good. I don’t know how much the prices were for the bags, but they were not cheap!"
Newman: "Everybody says I’m very matchy-matchy. Every color coordinates with what I have on, but I mean, it's a compliment."
Notaro: "The dresses were so glamorous, made of vibrant colors and beautiful textures, yet comfortable and fitting with my fun personality. Every killer outfit should have its own individual style and should include a great bag, the perfect shade of lipstick, and most important: a great occasion to wear it to!"
Levine: "I just retired three years ago and all the young people in the office used to say, ‘When I get to be your age, I want to be just like you.' Personally, I always wanted to be a standout. You don't want to be run-of-the-mill. I’m a yo-yo person. I have been thin, skinny, and I’ve been quite obese. No matter what size, I felt that I was always put-together.”
Zoraida: "The outfit that I wore, there was a glary one that it wasn’t what I would usually wear, but I understood why [the stylist] wanted me to for the photoshoot. It was very shiny with sequins and all that."
September is typically a time when fashion publications definitively tell you what’s in, and what’s out. Fuck that. We’re dedicating the next couple of weeks to celebrate all the iconoclasts, independent thinkers, and individuals with unique personal styles who’d rather say Fuck The Fashion Rules than follow them.