From The Magazine

How It Girls Are Doing Spring Statement Dressing

Subtle or striking, this season is all about off-kilter fashion that feels true to you.

Lying is for politicians and Tinder men when they talk about the lengths of their… fishes, but this spring, fashion girls can have a little bit of exaggeration as a treat.

As seen in the latest issue of NYLON, the most thrilling clothes out there right now play with extremes, bending and stretching your silhouette with a nip here and a billow out there — or reshaping it completely. We’re talking to-the-sternum Loewe trousers Urkel would balk at, frilled-lizard Schiaparelli collars, and Khaite bishop sleeves that could double as parachutes. Even pieces that sit closer to the body, like a bubble-hem dress, have an outsize attitude — and a bodice constructed from stacks on stacks of waistbands. A sheer corset, too, goes high drama (and a higher-brow brand of sexy) with an off-the-shoulder neckline that erupts into ruffly angel wings.

Hodakova dress, Jenny Bird ear cuff, Calzedonia tights, Brandon Blackwood NYC boots

“It’s nice to go against the quiet-luxury stream we saw for so long and be loud in how much fabric you have rather than how little slinky silk and cashmere you have on,” says fashion historian and writer Ruby Redstone. This season, she’s interested in acquiring more of her signature bloomers, as well as big suits and knee-high boots with a wide shaft because she says she’s very into “a cartoon leg” right now. “I love to see people building out their bodies to be larger through clothing. It’s a fun way to reclaim space and challenge ideas about what’s flattering.”

Schiaparelli coat and jewelry
LOEWE clothing and shoes, Alexis Bittar bracelets
1 / 2
1 / 2

Similarly, writer Kristen Bateman, who’s often seen in voluminous Simone Rocha and Cecile Bahnsen, says she “feels much more comfortable in a weird, quirky piece than a slip dress” as a way of taking up more room — and physically preventing others from getting too close on a narrow New York City sidewalk. For those reasons, Bateman says she’s looking at pannier-style skirts and actual doorway-blocking side hoops, along with leg-of-mutton sleeves that she predicts will only get more dramatic into fall. There is some risk associated with grandiose fashion, though: When Bateman was wearing a Vaquera babydoll dress on a windy day in Paris, the extravagant collar blew up into her face and blocked her vision. (This writer’s vintage Ungaro ball skirt was once also the cause of a run-in with a Karen in Times Square who had antiquated ideas about sidewalk ownership.)

KHAITE dress, Alexander McQueen earrings, Paula Mendoza ring (middle finger), Jennifer Fisher ring (ring finger), Givenchy sock pumps

This might all seem too editorial for the train transfers and bodega runs of real life, but even small styling tricks can make a big impact. Undoing the top button of your pants, for example, isn’t just for post-pepperoni carbonara at San Sabino anymore; it’s now also for revealing a pair of designer underwear, though no-name white briefs are just as cool. (For the overachievers, the Advanced Placement version of this look is replacing the knickers with a second, slimmer-fitting pair of jeans — or jorts if you’re reading from the northern hemisphere.) Or give your trusty leather trench a new lease on life as a one-shoulder shirtdress by inserting your arm into a single sleeve and fastening it, and doing some creative tucking with the other side.

BAD BINCH TONGTONG clothing, New York Vintage earrings, Jenny Bird ear cuffs, Fidan Novruzova boots

But the thing to remember is that there are levels to it — the definition of “statement dressing” can adjust to fit your lifestyle and aesthetic. Creative director and stylist Juliana Salazar, who’s a master of mixing trophy Super Yaya with everyday knits, says that while she’s all about the structured, paper-doll togs from the most recent Marc Jacobs show, she’s actually most excited for… a pair of Jacquemus shorts she bought in 2023. Describing the bottoms as very abbreviated and roomy around the hips, she says she’s looking forward to pairing them with “literally everything,” including sweaters and cardigans, and with a jacket as a suit.

ACT N.1 top and pants, Intimissimi underwear, Manolo Blahnik shoes
Chloé dress, Gentle Monster sunglasses, Jenny Bird ear cuff and ear climber
1 / 2
1 / 2

So it’s not so much about the clothes making the statement as it is about the meaning the person inside assigns to them. That’s why, if you want it to, a dress that resembles “a giant cupcake or a blob,” as Bateman puts it, could say, “I’m subverting what society thinks a woman’s form should look like.” With a three-sleeved Comme des Garçons sweater, meanwhile, you could say, “I’m molding and obscuring my body as art.” And even with a pair of shorts you already own, you could tell the world that you’ve seen it all — and that you’re not afraid to return to what makes you feel flirty, sophisticated, and the most like you.

Coach coat and jeans (worn under), Fleur du Mal bra, Lu'u Dan jeans, New York Vintage earring, Jenny Bird ear cuff, Michael Kors Collection belt

Top image credit: Balenciaga clothing and pantabodysuit

Model: Maya Touré

Photographs by Shaniqwa Jarvis

Styling by Kat Typaldos

Set Designer: Kelly Fondry

Hair: Nikki Nelms

Makeup: Samuel Paul

Manicure: Sreynin Peng

Tailor: Hasmik Kourinian

Photo Director: Alex Pollack

Editor in Chief: Lauren McCarthy

SVP Fashion: Tiffany Reid

SVP Creative: Karen Hibbert