That’s Fashion, Sweetie: Gucci Love Parade, Marina Diamandis and cuffing season
On Nov. 2, Gucci debuted their new collection inspired by Los Angeles, Hollywood and the cultural mecca where the runway occurred — the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Let me tell you, the collection was to die for. The silk suits, underwear-as-outerwear layered bustiers and sensual cuts, low cut feather and bead trimmed dresses and crystal cat-eye sunglasses were perfect and exactly the Gucci I have been missing the past few years.
But, Gucci’s global makeup consultant Thomas de Kluyver stole the show. Keeping the makeup unique and representational of old Hollywood, he also added a few hand-painted hearts to the cheeks of some models. Of course, the hearts were emblematic of classic Hollywood and beauty marks, but I immediately thought of my middle school electra-pop idol: Marina Diamandis of MARINA.
She rocked the heart beauty mark design predominantly during her “Electra Heart” album era but really honed this trademark look for her song “How To Be a Heartbreaker,” her lyrics literally stating, “rule number three / wear your heart on your cheek / but never on your sleeve / unless you want to taste defeat.”
This poppy, girl-power album exploring emotions of love, loss, self reflection and utmost confidence only played more into Diamandis’ alter ego, Electra Heart, who adorned these babydoll outfits and heart beauty marks. Her next album, “FROOT,” shed this alter ego and blossomed into the MARINA that we know now, but my sixth grade self will never forget Electra Heart for one simple reason: She turned me into a self-proclaimed maneater.
Of course, part of this internal identification of being a maneater comes from Nelly Furtado’s song, literally titled “Maneater,” and Lucy Liu strutting to Heart’s “Barracuda” in the 2000’s film “Charlie’s Angels.” But growing up in Tokyo at an all-girls Catholic school, where people would constantly remind me that I will never be equal to or better than my male counterparts, the strong female figures there inevitably taught me and my peers that we can be whoever we want to be. Of course, being a snotty sixth grader stressed over grades and sports and music, I decided I would take in this mindset to what was the most available: my petty middle school relationships.
However, as I grew older and started to gain more experience working in the fashion industry, I’ve been able to find success with this approach of demanding recognition and challenging norms. I can be equal to men if I would like, and there is nothing wrong with being in a position above them. But when incorporating this into my romantic endeavors, it seems to have had an opposite effect.
Scared that being a self-proclaimed maneater has taken a negative toll on those I eventually wanted to be more than friends with, I attempted to adopt more of a man-repeller-Leandra Cohen-esq approach: Just be you and other people can figure out whether they’re into you or not. Obviously, as a people-pleasing, high strung individual, this approach didn’t stick.
So every year as cuffing season rolls around, a time when people start committing to cuddling up and dating during the winter, I start to rethink myself and my identity as a woman. Should I be more feminine? Should I be kinder? Should I dumb down my personal jargon and soften my competitive nature? Should I imply more instead of being direct?
On one hand, yes, I dream of becoming that mysterious girl who has lipstick stains on coffee cups and wears dainty gold jewelry with oversized pantsuits and a faded vintage creme tote bag in lieu of a backpack. But at the same time, I love being who I’ve become — spontaneous, still high strung but intelligent, capable and self sufficient.
Therefore, this year I call for people to prioritize themselves in cuffing season. I, too, have come a long way in my journey of self acceptance, but falling in love with myself has been one of the best decisions I have made. Screw cuffing season: You don’t need it! All you need is yourself, some warm socks and a warm cup of coffee in your hand.
You’re gorgeous, babes. Don’t forget that.
Hadyn Phillips is a freshman writing about fashion in the 21st century, specifically spotlighting students and popular controversy. Her column, “That’s Fashion, Sweetie,” runs every other Tuesday.