Maybe you had one at school. Maybe you remember one your granny wore. Or perhaps you’re a pro-golfer with an aversion to sleeves. Whatever your associations with the humble vest, prepare to readjust your expectations.
Every now and then, there comes along a collection which manages to take everything you once believed about contemporary fashion and turns it upside down. So it’s congratulations to Alessandro Michele’s debut at Gucci for stepping it up this time with his proposal of genderless dressing. Emanating the fresh feel of quirky-eclectic, models layered pussy bow blouses under geek vests with a metallic pleated skirt down below. It was a startling look (in a way that it was something we hadn’t seen on the runways for a while) – yet, it wouldn’t look too out of place in a Wes Anderson film (Royal Tenenbaum’s and the like).
For a more straight-forward navigation into the geek vest concept, approach it by way of classic preppy. Take a slight detour via the 1970s with Vanessa Seward, whose subtle cable knit vests were worn over delicately printed Liberty print shirts, adding a softness and attainability to the effect. Then reach for a reference that looks more to pop (cult) culture: 1995’s Clueless. For collegiate cool with the volume turned up on loud, Cher Horowitz’s numerous preppy outfits make a compelling case for the vest. Lesson over.