While surveying the latest Chloë Sevigny campaign last week, we spotted Tati Cotliar in a perplexing ensemble starring a Balenciaga-esque bomber jacket, crop top, and fanny pack. We’ve been fans of the bomber for some time, but the 24 year-old Argentinian model’s mix of High Street, club kid, hip hop, and ‘90s-sitcom-kitsch made it feel, well, fresh. We can't all be doe-eyed South American babes, but we can take something away from her so-wrong-it's-right culture-clashing style. Tati swung by the Gloffice last week with two suitcases overflowing with her prized bombers and offered up some guidelines, plus the accoutrements necessary—chunky-soled sneakers, a dark lip, etc.—to dress yourself up like The Nanny, Kanye, or Michelle Pfeiffer in Grease 2. (And we picked our favorite pieces below!)
1. There's nothing like the real thing: "I’m all about sportswear. It’s something that’s happening in America now, especially since that 1950s-style summer collection that Prada did [for spring '12]. To me, it feels very Grease, like Michelle Pfeiffer. I like a proper baseball jacket, made for baseball. I buy mine at vintage stores like Allan & Suzi or little shops like Pixie Market. The shape of real team jackets gives you this attitude, this slouch. And it’s very street smart, like the kids on the Lower East Side playing basketball."
2. When in doubt, look to Clueless: "I remember in the '90s when crop tops were the item. Showing your bellybutton was the hottest thing—like in Clueless when Alicia Silverstone cuts Brittany Murphy’s shirt with scissors. And now I think they work again, especially paired with a bomber, to make it less beach-y. They’re better with a high-waisted item, too, because showing a shorter space of skin in your belly makes you look longer."
3. Be a tourist in your own town: "Fanny packs are my thing for the summer. How you wear one depends on the outfit. If you have pants on, it goes on the hips, otherwise you can wear it across the body or even over the shoulder like a purse. Mine's a chic twist on a fanny pack, which is quite silly from the start. It reminds me of Grandma Yetta from The Nanny. She wears all of these bright colors and it’s very vulgar and kitsch; fanny packs are something your dad and tourists would wear. I found mine, by Feral Pleasures, at a little shop in London. You can even add your own crystals to a plain one."
4. Find big shoes to fill: "I’m a very masculine person, and I like the style of hip-hop because it feels very masculine, moving sportswear into the everyday wardrobe. It’s about being comfortable. If you wore sneakers during the day in France they would go crazy! I’m just thinking of something I read about Julia Restoin Roitfeld. She was asked, “What are your favorite sneakers?” and she said, “Nikes, but only in the gym.” But, in America, there are so many really pretty Nikes! My shoes are Dr. Martens. They’re more 'schoolgirl' with the buckle. For creepers, I love the brand Underground."
5. Purple is better: "I never wear makeup, because I work with makeup every day. I love skincare. My favorite moisturizer is La Roche-Posay because it’s clean and fragrance-free. If I’m going to wear anything else, at night in the summer, I’ll put on a purple lipstick. It’s kind of gothic and fun. Chanel has a great matte dark, dark purple, but if I’m wearing a fuchsia, I like a little bit of shine, so I’ll use one from Lancôme. I don’t wear anything else. No mascara, nothing."
Tati Cotliar photographed by Emily Weiss in New York on May 15, 2013.