Certain elements inescapably compliment each other in a multitude of arenas, from the rustic simplicity of a perfect wine pairing with a buttery brie, to the devout conviction in harmonious zodiac attunements. With the spirit of made-to-be-together in mind, the Grand Mademoiselle would like to burglarize the elite enclave housing fashion’s elemental edicts. Perhaps the perfect pairing is achieved by mixing an impeccably tailored coat with rugged boots, or a delicate chiffon Marchesa gown with a bomber jacket (a la Ralph Lauren’s inimitable grace and genius for intuiting what makes a combination sing). Let the halls of Harper’s Bazaar adumbrate with carefully conceived, exquisitely executed, irreverently polished pairings. The key is to keep them within the bounds of good taste, and to choose breathtaking, well-tailored pieces as anchors to align the intended effect, which should be luxurious, playful, and thoroughly intelligent. The perfect pairing demands wit, first and foremost.


Punched-Up Pairings

It seems obvious for the Grand M to begin with the shoes and work from there. To provide inspiration for this theme, it is entirely fitting to select two pairs on opposite sides of the footwear spectrum; one epitomizing lavish opulence, and the other imparting a decidedly guileless, enthusiastic, bucolic vigor. The ‘Zoe Fur‘ flat by Maloles is ornate beyond compare, fashioned of sumptuous leather with all the freshly-mined luster of pewter ore. The golden, coppery nappa upper is delightfully twisted in a chic pleat across the vamp, and adorned with a simple espresso grosgrain ribbon tie. What’s more, this ridiculous confection is fully lined with honey-toned fur, complete with feathery tufts peeking down along the seams on each heel. To find a perfect pairing for these fanciful Maloles ballet flats, look no further than an artfully tailored blazer in an unassuming solid color. Proenza Schouler provides the perfect piece with a lily-white stretch cotton fold-over blazer.

The low V-neck, single button front closure, and deco-revival double lapels bring the ‘Zoe Fur‘ flats down a notch, thus preventing one from looking too “made-up”, which the Grand M never finds flattering. The simple cotton fabric, demure white tone, and innocently structured long-sleeved blazer pairs perfectly against the over-the-top golden, fur-lined, pleated, Maloles extravaganza. Although, just to raise some eyebrows, I’d coyly tuck Matthew Williamson’s ‘Atomic’ structured clutch neatly in the crook of my elbow and demonstrate my fearless love of fashion.

In truth, the rigid construction of the clutch pairs nicely with the Proenza blazer, and the multicolored silk, neatly embellished with bands of mirrored sequins in a gentle gradient of surprisingly muted neon tones is dazzling to behold. Additionally, it has nothing in common with the Maloles ballet flats and looks marvelous against the stark white of the blazer.

Now, let’s take a different approach to the perfect pairing by grounding our ensemble with the Tashkent ‘Stoney’ boot, crafted of a ruggedly refined rich brown leather upper, rising to a 16.5″ shaft atop a 1″ heel and endlessly entwined in layer upon layer of sturdy leather strips, encircling the ‘Stoney’ from top to bottom in tone-on-tone hide. Tashkent is one of the Grand M’s favorite shoe designers, marrying a solid, work-horse mentality with the innovative delicacy of an imaginative, couture sensibility. What to pair with these gorgeous boots? To the Grand M, they scream for a modern, crisply-cut dress coat to add an excitingly body-conscious and painstakingly proportioned dimension to the Tashkent’s haphazard richness. The ‘Lantern Hem Coat‘, sold by Topshop is the perfect piece to pair with the ‘Stoney’ boots. Made of a fantastic alpaca and wool blend, the ‘Lantern’ remains true to its moniker, featuring a futuristic, spirited bell-shaped hem, lovingly fitted waistline affixed with a dual-button flap closure, slightly flared sleeves, and a deliciously over-sized collar. The shape is at once retro and fashion-forward, barely able to conceal its intended purpose of flawlessly exhibiting a woman’s figure. Furthermore, the unexpectedly sedate teal color lends an extra layer of originality, steering it away from becoming just another well-shaped, black, boiled-wool Park Avenue peacoat. The point of the perfect pairing is to pay attention to what each piece contributes on its own, that is, what it has to say. Then, find another piece that has a different point of view, but with enough common ground to carry on a delightful conversation.