Even if you’re not headed back to school—if the only classroom you enter is the one in your anxiety dreams—backpacks are back in a big way this fall. But these aren’t the JanSports of yore. Consider the current styles graduates of a master class in cool. Sophisticated, sleek and practical, there’s nothing schoolgirlish about these accessories. Some of the best fashion talent in the game have designed rucksacks that will make your handheld bags look downright grannyish. For travelers and commuters, the style makes a lot of sense, too—just remember to flip it around to wear in front when on the train, subway or bus.
Here are 10 of our favorite backpacks to slip on this season.
rag & bone Pilot leather backpack
This style’s clean lines and pebbled leather make it a classic. Small enough to leave you unencumbered but roomy enough for everything you need to tote, the Pilot will fast become your primary purse substitute. The design also comes in a mini version, as well as a soft woven suede.
IT’S IN THE BAG: READ MORE
Fashion editors love to call trends. At the risk of jumping on that one, we can no longer ignore the accessory craze that’s experiencing a resurgence this season: chokers. The beloved ’90s jewelry is back on the throats of style setters around the globe. We saw chokers on the fall 2016 runways at Alexander Wang and Rihanna’s Fenty X Puma show, as well as on the pop star herself. But it’s always so refreshing to see those runway trends on the streets.
We spotted these ladies in New York. Each one shows that the necklace renaissance is upon us, and open to a variety of interpretations. Here are some looks we love as well as some historical tidbits about the choker.
All photos by Kristin Yamada
The classic black velvet or fabric choker has been around since the ’90s–the 1790s, that is. Aristocratic French women would tie ribbons on their necks to commemorate those lost to the guillotine. The fashion caught on across Europe. Sometimes women would decorate these simple bands with broaches or jewels. In the 1800s, black ribbons could be used to identify prostitutes.
Beaded chokers date back to ancient Egypt, where they were thought to have protective properties. Gold and lapis lazuli were common materials on these necklaces. During her trips to India, Princess Alexandra of Wales saw beaded and gold choker designs on women, and she brought the trend back to Europe. It’s thought that because of a neck scar, the princess frequently donned elaborate choker necklaces. Many other European women in the Alps regions of Germany and Austria also used chokers to hide goiter lumps caused by iodine deficiencies. Beaded chokers returned in the 1970s and then again in the ’90s, and of course are surfacing again now.
SHOP: choker necklaces
THE CHOKER PAST AND PRESENT: READ MORE
Some people are just more pleasant to speak to, it’s true. After a recent conversation with the Paris-based fashion designer Jérôme Dreyfuss, several reasons for this were clear. For one, the thoughtfully cheerful Dreyfuss exhibits interest in a variety of topics. Secondly, his passion seems sincere. And he doesn’t take himself or fashion too seriously, which isn’t to say that he approaches his craft lightly.
Known predominantly for his luxurious handbags that project personality, Dreyfuss has a reputation for being a bit of a rebel. He worked with John Galliano in the early part of his career and has since cut a streak across the industry both for his unique designs (his fall-winter collection includes bags made of deer and goatskin leather; some come with interior flashlights for finding your keys or phone at night) and his wildly artistic methods for presenting them.
Read on for our chat, which covered architecture, Le Marais, what “cool” really is and why fashion snobbishness is out of style.
ENCORE: READ MORE AND SEE INSIDE HIS SHOWROOM
New York designer Eddie Borgo‘s dazzlingly cool jewelry designs can be spotted on any number of sleekly styled celebrities, like Joan Smalls at this year’s CFDA Fashion Awards—for which Borgo was actually nominated in 2010. At once contemporary and classic, his clean and edgy pieces are the kind of accessories wearers will reach for any time an outfit needs additional emphasis. Indeed, his beautiful creations are like metallic exclamation points: linear, graceful and commanding. Just as stunning with a tee as with a formal gown, these designs project simple elegance.
We spoke with Eddie about selecting jewelry, NYC and his sources of inspiration—including the Chrysler Building, rock ‘n’ roll, and art museums.
Do you have a piece of jewelry you usually wear?
I always wear a simple silver cuff that I made for myself at some point, and now we sell it as a part of our men’s collection. I also wear our pyramid and cone bracelets quite often—they really work with everything and have over time become classic pieces of jewelry themselves.
ADD AN EXCLAMATION: READ MORE WITH EDDIE BORGO
When you make the leap from quartz movements to mechanical watches, it’s a different world. You’re blessing your wrist with throwback artistry that will last generations. And there’s just something miraculous about all those springs and gears working together.
If you look for that kind of product made in America, you’ll run out of options pretty quickly. Cameron Weiss would like to change that. He grew up surfing in California and started Weiss Watches after attending watchmaking school in Switzerland. Now he runs the company out of Los Angeles, helping to make watches by hand and drawing on the talents of machinists and engineers who have worked in the local aerospace industry, while using vintage tools that aren’t even commercially available anymore.
We chatted with him about his love of underwater photography, the industry-shaking impact of the Swatch and whether being a watchmaker is at all similar to being a god.
SHOP: Weiss Watches
ALL WOUND UP? READ MORE
Slipping into a swimsuit usually means removing layers until you’re nearly nude. But just because you’re baring more skin doesn’t mean that your style should be stripped down.
Body jewelry, as in bra chains, body chains and hand chains, is this summer’s standout in accessories. As seen in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, on style-setters like Rihanna and Bella Hadid, and on the season’s festivalgoers, these delicate and barely there embellishments trace the wearer’s silhouette, providing a pretty outline under and over clothes. Like body chains, charm bracelets, thin hoop earrings and beaded bangles also add a graceful touch to warm-weather styles.
Here are some lovely and waterproof ways to accentuate your swimwear this summer. Whether you’re taking a dip, sunning yourself or making the rounds at a pool party, there’s no reason to be underdressed.
DIVE IN: READ MORE
Turns out, the shades that we hide behind when running errands without makeup or avoiding paparazzi (real or imagined) are still effective for standing out in a crowd. Case in point: Coachella. In that sea of youthful seraphim taking fashion risks, there were any number of startling new frames.
Beyond the basic cat eye or aviator, designs are getting increasingly playful. Glitter, patterns, sweeping angles, tinted lenses—all appear on the new styles. These aren’t simply utilitarian sun shields but rather statement pieces worn front and center, on your face.
Here are some of our favorite new ones, as seen on Coachella festivalgoers.
Concentric Cat Eye
Festival images by Kristin Yamada
Actress Kiernan Shipka slid on a pair of these frames, with circular lenses enveloped in a wiry cat eye. The interlocking geometric shapes create a striking outline, yet it doesn’t threaten to overpower the face.
Shop our picks:
MARC JACOBS 56mm cat eye sunglasses | Fendi 53mm sunglasses
SUNNIES AS SEEN AT COACHELLA: READ MORE
Strapped to the side of some of Fashion Week’s most fashionable ladies were assorted oddball accessories. Although their luxe handbags needed no frippery, many chose to outfit them with a little bauble. After all, these are women who don’t miss an opportunity to dress up. And these trinkets aren’t without their charms.
Bag charms have become a popular statement for the fashion set. Spotted on models like Lara Stone and Kendall Jenner, these playful accessories for accessories let wearers add some personality to their purses.
Many of these bag charms take the shape of furry characters. Fendi has a Pompom Karl, a miniature Karl Lagerfeld doll ensconced in a fluffy tuft. British designer Sophie Hulme‘s quirky bag charms have become collectibles among those into the trend. You’ll find furry, feathered, tasseled and jeweled characters among her menagerie of creations. Burberry has a high-style teddy bear charm. Many designers, like Rebecca Minkoff and Stella McCartney, make tiny versions of their own handbags into charms, as though your purse seems naked without its own purse.
SEE MORE AND SHOP OUR BAG CHARM SLIDESHOW
You do your dance around the recycling bins—figuring out what counts as plastic, what is compostable and what is plain rubbish. You offset your carbon footprint by hoofing it to work. You purchase eco-friendly cleaning products and scour your cosmetics bottles so that they can be recycled. You are an eco-warrior. But sometimes the daily battle just doesn’t feel like enough.
A number of designers and companies go beyond the standards of environmental sustainability to find creative ways to make their products earth-friendly. Here are just a few Nordstrom brands preserving the planet with their innovative practices. We are proud to support their ingenious efforts to keep it clean.
Melissa Joy Manning jewelry
Not only does the artisan jeweler look to nature to inspire her earthy, handcrafted creations, but Manning’s California studio is Green Certified. Her methods, too, include using recycled silver and gold sourced with the highest environmental standards. The stones on her jewelry are often upcycled from antique charms or made from alternative composites like refined ore from Michigan auto plants or raspberry nickel from former U.S. zipper factories. All the diamonds in her collection are conflict-free. Other stones are sourced using environmentally and socially responsible practices as well.
GREEN UP YOUR ACT: READ MORE
HEAR: Second Love by Emmy the Great
Pop singer and songwriter Emma Lee Moss’s third album covers difficult emotional terrain, but this soul-stirring singer seems to skate on it with her honeyed voice. Occasionally the atmospheric album becomes aloof, yet songs like “Algorithm” and “Hyperlink” reduce love’s struggles to orchestrated abstractions that an indie-inclined audience would recognize as brilliant modern day similes.
READ: An Unrestored Woman: And Other Stories by Shobha Rao
Stories exploring the 1947 schism of India and Pakistan could seem as daunting as that contentious border. In Shobha Rao’s hands, however, we are immersed in the sympathetic lives of citizens arbitrarily controlled by the geo-political divisions of territory. Love is aborted, children lost, families separated, individuals left to their alien resources in paired stories set both in the diaspora and the domestic.
SEE: City of Gold
The prize-winning food critic Jonathan Gold is an admired and imitated connoisseur of urban eats. It’s not an exaggeration to attribute to him our national predilections for food trucks, obscure ethnic foods and adventurous eating. This documentary follows the insatiable scribe around LA, a city that warmly embraces him and his enthusiasm for its citizens and their culinary ambitions.
BINGE ON A WEB SERIES AND WEARABLE SNACKS: READ MORE