The XX Factor

Hipsters Adopt “The Elaine Benes” Look.

The latest style to enter the New York Times ’ perpetually tardy trend horizon is the “Elaine Benes” look . Yes, this Elaine , lover of the floor-length floral dress paired with socks and clunky Oxfords. Writer William Van Meter describes the women at a recent New York gallery opening: “Like a modest Robert Palmer-girl army, the women mingled in floor-length print dresses and brown lace-up boots with their hair in messy secretary buns. The genesis of the look could have been those unforgettable images of fundamentalist Mormon women that dominated the news a couple of years back. But if you squinted, what you saw was a sea of Elaines.” Could it be we’re entering a ‘90s fashion rebirth? I say so be it, if it means the skin-tight acid-wash jeans of the ‘80s leave the shelves of Urban Outfitters.

Of course, no New York Times trend piece is complete without some highly implausible supporting evidence. This time around, it’s the two paragraphs dedicated to hipster fashion darling Chloe Sevigny, who, according to Van Meter, seems to be “inadvertently” channeling Elaine in her latest collection, which is chockful of  floral skirts and Peter Pan collars. The best line: “Ms. Sevigny does not own a television and is not overly familiar with the show.”