When I first spotted Tessa Beck at the Plains Art Museum in Fargo, all I could see was her silhouette. Lit from behind by a video installation, with her coat over her shoulders and her hat perched on her head, the very first thing I thought of was “Spy vs. Spy.”
This is not a bad thing. This is awesome. I may have even hissed “yes!” to myself at one point. Luckily, I was at the opening for the Bakken Boom exhibit (get there — it’s wonderful) and art galleries are one of the few places on earth you can mutter to yourself and nobody looks at you strangely.
It’s great to see a fresh silhouette, especially at an evening event. While many of the women opted for practical tall boots and skinnies (fast becoming Fargo’s unofficial uniform) others insisted on the tiny dress/bare legs/strappy shoe combo. This looks cute in Miami or Vegas or even Fargo in June, but when worn in January in the upper Midwest, it just makes everybody fret about frostbite.
Tessa’s outfit does not have this problem. Instead, she layers outwear staples with glee. A jacket, overcoat and on-trend flannel shirt? Sure! A hat and boots? Why not? And it works.
Tessa’s outfit contains so many elements that get heavy rotation in my own wardrobe — vintage coats, leather jackets, ankle boots, big bags — but her interpretation takes the look in a cozy, vaguely androgynous direction that’s entirely her own.
And isn’t it nice to see vivid white in the winter? Not winter white or creamy ivory or ladylike ecru — just pure, snow-on-the-roadside white that wants to be noticed.
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