The Fashion Club Pays Tribute to the Queen of Soul’s Style (8/22)

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Avocado Fashion Club! Here, you can read about style and fashion trends for all gender expressions, browse a selection of runway collections, and chat about style, accessories and more with your fellow Avocados.

This week’s edition begins with tributes to some of Aretha Franklin’s most iconic style moments, spanning every decade of her career. We also feature articles on the delightful fashion-filled getting dressed montage in Crazy Rich Asians and Virgil Abloh’s new collection based on his outfits for Serena Williams at the U.S. Open.

As well, the Look Book continues the examination of fall menswear and womenswear trends from last week’s thread. Finally, I spotlight some of the designers whose work caught my eye this week, including Sander Lak, whose technicolour designs I adore, and Emily Bode, whose eponymous label I showcased in early July. 

Settle in and enjoy!


The “Natural Woman” singer was unafraid of bold, bright colors, loud, statement prints, and elaborate hair and makeup looks. In the ‘60s, Franklin often wore beehive hairdos and glossy, nude lips with maxi-length embroidered dresses and caftans. During the ‘70s, she embraced the era’s “flower power” aesthetic, on one occasion in 1975 wearing a dress with an oversized floral print and feathers stitched along the collar and trim. Franklin also sported well-coiffed Afros and neat cornrows.

Today, in light of the fact that Aretha has passed on, I’m fondly thinking of her uncompromising style—and remembering what a profound effect it had on both me and the most important woman in my life, my mom. I’m 31 now, and still trying to be a little bit like Aretha by embracing a more vivacious way of dressing, whether it’s piling on prints or wearing bigger pieces of statement jewelry. They say you are supposed to do one thing every day that scares you, and maybe this should apply to our wardrobes, too.

Originally Chu asked for eight dresses for this scene. Vogt pulled 15 options (with five back-ups), each brimming with the promise of potential comedic material. In the film, Peik Lin and Oliver add some colorful descriptions: a short and silver Michael Kors dress was judged “the death of disco,” a bright and colorful prism dress was described as “a clown’s tampon,” and a little pink dress by Malaysian designer Carven Ong called to mind an “ebola virus.” (When asked about how the designers feel about the mirthful attack on their designs, Vogt says: “Oh my God, I don’t know! I hope they’re OK; I hope they have a sense of humor about it.”)

 The line is comprised of both two iterations of the one-shoulder, asymmetric performance dress in two colourways that Williams will wear on the court as well as a bomber jacket, a bag and the reinvention of the NikeCourt Flare 2 as well as limited editions of The 10: Nike Air Max 97 and The 10: Nike Blazer Mid SW.


Articles on clothes and accessories for all your style inspiration and needs. 


At this very moment, retailers are slowly rolling out pieces from their fall ’18 collections, including a bevy of lust-worthy shoes. And, I’ll be damned if my to-buy list isn’t full of kickass combat boots and prim party heels. 

Where is this whole thing headed, stylistically?
More tailoring and re-interpretations of workwear or “heritage.” The amount of oversize garments seems to have been pulled way back. Things are starting to clean up in terms of shape, and we’re seeing a mixture of feminine fabrics and techniques for men—things are becoming less gender-specific.


The designers and collections that caught my eye this week.


“Everything is so dark…” says Sander Lak, the man behind New York-based label Sies Marjan, over coffee in London. “Everything is doomed, it’s all so apocalyptic; so there’s something really nice about wearing a bright pink shirt on a day that you really feel like shit — it lifts you up.” 

Beyond serotonin-boosting color, what’s so appealing about Sies Marjan is the sense that the clothes really are for everybody. Lak has cast transgender models in his shows, presents menswear and womenswear together, and wears the pieces himself — acting as a walking advertisement for the tactile fabrics and playful cuts that embody the brand. 

It should be said: This much success this quickly is a rarity in the world of fashion. But somehow it makes sense for [Emily] Bode. Like the best in her line of work, she taps into something unusually deep with her clothes. The quilted jackets, kimono-silk shirts, and former-tablecloth pants all seem to come from their own hermetically sealed universe—one where fashion isn’t disposable and logo-ridden but rather a true craft, passed down through generations. “When you buy into something that you would put on your wall as much as you would put in your closet, that’s really important to me,” she says.