Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Fade Up

The secret to wearing bold colors without looking like a dandy or a spaz is simple: They should be washed-out. Faded. Like they were already broken in before you even pulled them on. And don't be afraid to mix them all together, like New York band Vampire Weekend—the indie darlings who are now looking, thanks to an inspired third album, to float the mainstream
When Vampire Weekend's first album appeared, in 2008, you couldn't talk about them without arguing about them. All up for debate: their sly, self-assured, and perfect-pop riffs; their breezy Internet-fueled rise and Afropop appropriation; the perception vs. reality of their elitism, vis-à-vis their degrees from Columbia and the pink horses on their Ralph Lauren. Back then, VW's cheery frontman, Ezra Koenig, tells me, it felt like "people were waiting for us to fuck up."

Now here comes third album Modern Vampires of the City, a tightly produced batch of wordy, playful, daydream jams written and recorded in L.A., Brooklyn, and—okay, laugh it up—a friend's guesthouse on Martha's Vineyard. Koenig says, softly sarcastic, "If people are still like, 'Oh, my God, you preppy white-ass Ivy League whatever,' " well, then, maybe they weren't really listening to the music in the first place. Not that he's all that salted about it: "I mean, I'm always happy to engage in a dialogue about Polo shirts."

Right before I hang up, I offer a theory: A while back, Drake embraced the winter sweater, via his particular Haute-Cosby Look. Is it possible Vampire Weekend—once so closely associated with the woolly wear—became, by comparison, less preppy? "Maybe that's true," Koenig offers gamely. "I didn't think about that, because the sweaters Drake wears are from such a different branch of the sweater tree. It's the style of somebody wearing clothes associated with very old people. Which I like." He mulls it over some more. "I feel like sweaters will always be a part of our band. But maybe the moment for them to be at the forefront has passed, in a healthy way? And we can start focusing on other items?"
Spring Colors You Know, in Shades You Don't
This season, our favorite colors look like they were made in the 1980s—and then spent the next thirty years in some forgotten warehouse washing machine. The result is rusty reds, watery blues, and purples that fade into grays. Start by buying a sweatshirt or a pair of chinos and then work your way up to Vampire Weekend's next-level mixing and matching

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