Femininity in the Modern Age with Vince
by Alexa Hotz
Photographed by Hanna Tveite
The best of both worlds. That’s the allure of the modern epicene. Where the boundaries of man and woman dissolve and the familiarity of identity is entirely superannuated, that is where the modern woman (wo/man) emerges. The idea isn’t hard-lined. In fact, it’s the most honest, open, and do-whatever-wear-whatever approach possible. (And isn’t that the most modern thing you can imagine?) The simultaneity of masculine and feminine is interesting. It’s men’s shirting and sheer stretch knits and glossy silk and wool car coats. Or at least that’s the idea, specifically, behind Vince’s fall collection: the sensuality and intelligence of modern feminine/masculine dress. Styled here on Veronika (who bears a striking resemblance to Swiss journalist Annemarie Schwarzenbach), the look is all too appealing. Let’s explore.
Somewhere between the blurred shapes of Milton Avery’s colored forms and the yellow fields of California’s Simi Valley, lies, in part, the inspiration for Vince’s fall collection. “We look at art a lot when we’re getting inspiration whether for color or shape,” says the brand’s Creative Director and designer Caroline Belhumeur. For the palette of copper, ink blue, sandalwood, and vintage rose (all designed to pair together tonally), Belhumeur found it in Avery’s paintings. For shape: Barbara Hepworth. “Her sculptures have been an inspiration to me for a while,” she says. “Finding that sleeves, shapes on shirts, and coats are quite sculptural now, it’s about taking that volume and finding inspiration in it.” On Veronika, those sleeves are on a man’s unlined, camel car coat. It’s the subtle tweaks, like unstructured shoulders and elongated sleeves, that make it easy to pair with anything from sheer silk to classic shirting.
When we’re building a collection we’re thinking about multiple women. There’s something about the Vince collection in its cleanness in styling that makes it very adaptable to many different women.Caroline Belhumeur, Vince
With an ensemble that is, quite literally, half-masculine and half-feminine, the quality of fabric and simplicity of cut stand out. Menswear trousers and a double-breasted jacket, for a typical suiting set up, would be paired with a shirt. Not here. Not on a woman. Rather, she’s got on a full-length shirt dress for a change.
The pinstripe dobby shirt is as classically masculine as it gets—at least in reference to suiting and the tradition of tailoring. Worn alone (meaning no jacket), and with high waisted trousers and a belt pulled from a trench coat, Veronika’s look is all her own.
The deliberate absence of ornament is another tenet of masculine/feminine dress. Instead, it’s about sensual fabrics like brushed wool, shearling, leather, bouclé, and cotton. Fabric quality is essential for Vince, a brand that has always stood out for its knits and elevated textures.
My first introduction to textiles came from my mom. We would collect fleece from the barbed wire of sheep fences and I learned how to spin and knit the yarn. The result is a real understanding of fabric—and I think that’s a very integral part of Vince.Caroline Belhumeur, Vince
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Styling Gabrielle Marcecca
Makeup Yuko Kawashima
Hair Benedicte Cazau-Beyret at CLM
Model Veronica Kunz at Society NY