Puffer by KhrisJoy (Sale), Neon ribbed stretch-knit cardigan by Tibi (Sale), metallic Raey slip dress, Celine tie and dye turtleneck, Roger Vivier ‘Viv Run’ sneakers (See below) and & Other Stories earrings (Similar). Images by Linda Provini.
I did a Spring Summer 2019 trend roundup recently, and I have to say: amongst all the stories I saw walk the runways last September, the one that has stuck with me the most was California Dreaming.
I was probably inspired by one single item in my closet, the tie dye Celine turtleneck I’m wearing here. It was a real investment piece, and I waited a long time to purchase it, all the way at the end of the season after it had gone on sale. It is currently one of my most beloved fashion pieces. I will wear it until it falls apart, but at least I know we will have lived a brilliant life together until that moment.
I can hear you as I write this post: “TAMU GUURL, WHAT’S THE OBSESSION?” One, tie dye is iconic. I recently waxed poetic about its sentimental and cultural importance here; two, because this turtleneck is from Phoebe Philo’s last collection for Celine, a landmark and an important send off; three, because I have actually been living in fitted printed turtlenecks for the last few seasons and feel that they are exemplary layering staples; and four, it’s simply awesome and joy-inspiring.
The California Dreaming trend isn’t only about tie dye, it’s inspired by so much more. It’s about embracing a bright, cheerful and warm energy. Winter is tough on those of us who live in regions where polar vortexes can swoop in on ruthless and unforgiving wind patterns. Combined with 4:30 pm sunsets, many of us spend winter longing for milder temperatures and chasing golden light. California boasts one of the most beautifully lit coastlines on planet earth. I honestly feel like it’s light is like medicine for the mind, body and spirit. Another characteristic of the Golden State is the laid-back approach to life embraced by many of its inhabitants. Case in point, the most recent NYC-LA exodus. New Yorkers have been fleeing the grueling hustle and bustle of The City That Never Sleeps in search of a healthier and more balanced lifestyle. The California dream is also about practicing so much positivity and love that you are lifted to a psychedelic-like bliss. And this doesn’t have to be LSD-induced, it’s totally achievable through clean eating, a good wellness regimen that includes regular exercise, especially yoga, and meditation. AHEM, there is also In-N-Out Burger, delicious Mexican food, incredible Asian food – sushi as we know it in the U.S. was born in California! Just keeping it real, these are Cali cuisine classics.
In addition to a well-balanced lifestyle, surf culture has inspired so much of California’s allure. From the 1950s when the sport established popularity, sunkissed bodies have ridden the waves of the Pacific Ocean, which are inextricably mixed with all the positive vibes that roll over from city streets onto PCH, down the sandy beaches and onto their shores, to finally evaporate and spread like magic mist above the entire state. It’s easy to understand then how those who live on the other side of the country, or what feels like the other side of the world here in Europe, could be easily swept away by a sea of dreams. Who wouldn’t be enamoured by sequences of vibrant, energetic colors and patterns mixed and matched to highlight the easy pace and pure love of nature that bathes the towns of the Best Coast? Who wouldn’t want to wear clothes conceived to reflect that lifestyle and its aesthetic?
So, here I am giving you my best California Dreaming vibe (a winterized version of course), styled with items from my closet and a couple of generous gifts from some very covetable brands. As you take in the look, don’t be embarrassed if Rainbow Brite comes to mind. It did for me, too, and that fact makes me very happy. Now let’s go chase some rainbows, Pretty Birds.