A cascade of judgement, Fashion Week is a who's-who look-at-me hothouse where the shows are sometimes secondary to capturing attention from the throngs of "street style" photographers outside. Today's Sister, Sister Second Skin finale forces two brave pairs of siblings to take on each other's styles while also taking on the inescapable scrutiny that is NYFW.
Would it be easier to wear a total stranger's clothes with someone doing the exact same thing by your side? What if one of the girls embraced the transformation and the other one didn't? Would the girls argue over who gets to wear what?
With piercings, leather jackets, and signature studded sunglasses, eyewear designers Coco and Breezy could be going shopping with Eryn Lefkowitz or to a pre-gentrification LES punk club. Sporting identical tattoos, the twins' bond is as tight as their black pants. During their first NYC years, the Minnesotans shared a futon and never took a subway ride a part. Yes, their shades have been sported by Kelly Osbourne, and, yes, Style.com's radar has locked in on them, but Coco and Breezy are still down-to-earth and "in the grind" with their start-up business.
On the other hand, there's Phoebe and Annette. Surrounded by three brothers, the two are exceptionally devoted sisters (they look like twins, they act like twins, but, in fact they're not) whose ancient, prehistoric jewelry creations reflect their Mexico City roots. Pairing worldly explorer elegance with boardroom polish, Phoebe and Annette's designer flowy onesies and buttoned-up dress shirts turn being an enlightened, sophisticated professional into a MoMA work of art.
Ever since Coco and Breezy saw their friend Grace Lee exchange her tomboy uniform for Goldie Rush's wispy flower-child wardrobe, they wanted in. But when I showed them the jewelry designers' breezy pink jumpsuits and wide-legged pants, they screamed, "Eww!" (7:17). The same girls who were emailing me with anxious excitement for weeks, were now trying to get out of the experience by claiming that they had "colds." Though the twins were trekking to Fashion Week in their worst nightmare (loose clothes), everyone else was wondering if they were in someway "growing up" in the threads of the sisters whose grandma was Frida Khalo's best friend. Once at Lincoln Center, they were swarmed by photographers, and the ones who knew them, though initially shocked and confused by their missing sunglasses, ended up applauding their mature look. We also ran into Joan Rivers, Giuliana Rancic, and the aforementioned Kelly Osbourne -- each of whom had nothing but nice things to say about the twin's refined, "cutesy" clothes.
With Phoebe and Annette, I thought they would be freaked out by Coco and Breezy's punk-chic uniform, so I was surprised to find them acting like giddy little girls playing dress up (8:20). In leopard print shirts, "Ho" hats, silver shoes, and, of course, sunglasses, Phoebe and Annette were asking themselves at 10:53 with the utmost seriousness: "Should we do this look more often?" But their enthusiasm for the gritty and provocative apparel waned sharply when they went to see threeASFOUR's fashion and art exhibit at the Jewish Museum. The formal Upper East Side gave the girls a case of nerves at 14:25. They felt like they were totally out of place, telling me: "These hats and glasses are inappropriate for such a conservative setting"
While going to Lincoln Center in Phoebe and Annette's prim attire did embarrass the heck out of Coco and Breezy, the venture provided the twins with a glance into the future. "Maybe we'll dress like this when we're older," they told me. "But not now" (13:30). As for Phoebe and Annette, after they survived the Jewish Museum discord, we took a cab ride (21:40) in which Annette, who found a new side to herself in the twin's CBGB gear, basically summed up the whole entire reason why we're so obsessed with Second Skin and will continue to do them for as long as StyleLikeU is around: "How you dress is so tied to identity -- it's crazy.
We hope that you fell head-over-heels in love with our first ever season of Second Skin and that you are now filled with a new prospective about style and how it impacts our lives in ways that we don't always realize.
Stay tuned for a Google Hangout with some of the Second Skin survivors on February 14th (aka Valentine's Day)!
Video edited by Andrea Cruz
Music from Draemings and Unixsex Salon