Here's to croissant rolls and sartorial liberation.
'And who, exactly, is the Hermès woman?
"She's a woman who can decide for herself" '...
... ' "You have to know what you want and who you are," she says firmly.'
- Pg.68 Laws of the Universe, Cereal Magazine Volume 17
Mmm, yes. *Takes another munch on the sinfully rich egg-mayo slathered croissant roll.*
It was a delightfully bright and sunny morning when I finally paid a visit to my long bookmarked Boxcar Baker & Deli. Couples were enjoying waffles under the warm sun; an excited boy bounded next to his father; girls in summer dresses giggled over coffee; and me, comfortably seated by the window, my tendency to devour pastries under five minutes completely nulled by my inability to stop photographing every corner of the aesthetic interiors or the intricate layers of my croissant roll because the morning light was hitting it differently. Every. Five. Minutes.
Evidently, food is the beginning to every idea and adventure.
And lattes with oat milk. *Sip*.
What really intrigued me about the article however, was its subtitle: "Defining the Hermès woman." But what followed was an unexpected absence of clothing or even the signature Hermès scarf. Instead, the article sported beautiful city shots and its rigid glass architecture, some interiors, and a beach. Even the text itself (on creative direction behind the brand's image) seemed architecturally curated. The article as a whole not only mirrored Bali Barret's (the creative director behind the Hermes Women's Universe) confidence and power, but also reinforced this imagery of a strong, independent woman.
As per usual, I planned my outfit in accordance to location. The cafe's close proximity to Baker Street brought about thoughts of Sherlock Holmes, which begat intellectual, studious, cool, dark academia vibes. Hence inspiring this black shirt, military jacket, cargo pants number. Topped with this particular cap that always reminded me of Holmes' beret. Finished with heeled combat boots for some feminine power (it's what Irene Adler would wear, innit?).
Ssōne (above): an artsy clothes shop I chanced upon. Perfumer H (below) I literally read about it in the same Cereal Magazine just to find it at the turn of the corner. Of course I had to check it out! Both are female-owned.
Pants : there is nothing better than this very practical cut of sartorial liberation, social emancipation for women and ultimate leg freedom.
One thing to make Mondays less blue.
Pants. Shirts. Clothing that are considered 'masculine' elements. In recent years, I find myself combining masculine elements to more feminine ones such as heels and lace. A combination that satisfies both my girlish wimps and constant need for some form of confidence booster. Because that is exactly what masculine clothing can offer : confidence, power.
Up till recently, I had not realised that what drove Chanel to the world-wide fame and influence the fashion house holds today is Coco Chanel's bold upending of corsets and lace. Instead, she made pants fashion. She introduced the iconic Chanel suit. And in doing so, she gave women something that goes beyond the superficiality of dressing up: power.
Let's talk about blazers for a minute.
Fashion magazines and Instagram have been ablaze with blazers as of late. I see girls styling blazers with pants, with dresses, with literally anything. In secondary school, wearing a blazer was a privilege : you had to either be a prefect, participating in a debate competition, or receiving some sort of award. So who would've thought that such a powerful, formal, masculine piece of clothing could accommodate all aspects of feminine dressing - formal and casual - so well?
But perhaps that is precisely what it means to be female (or basically any human being identifying as any gender they please) in this modern age: the privilege to tip the scales between strength and fragility; to retain the delicate sensitivity of being female under a shell of masculine confidence. To just have fun being whoever you want to be as long as you know who you are and what you want.
Fe - male.
The best song to sum up all these ideas perhaps is 'What a Woman Wants' from my all-time favourite musical, Kinky Boots. If you haven't watched it, I highly recommend it - both the musical and the movie! Emotional, irreeessistably funny and just all around amazing.
With that, I hope this served as a bit of a Monday booster for the week ahead!
For more eye candy, here's a collection of some artsy interiors and shop facades I came across. And the oh-so-beautiful Daunt Books where I (once again) had to physically restrain myself from buying more books before I finish my current reads.
Thank you for reading!