One thing.

If you could own one thing from any fashion show, what would it be?

Welcome to our new series called One Thing, where we at Decline + Fall Studios will answer that question for you. (It’s okay, you can thank us later.)

We’re starting with Rag and Bone’s S/S ’17 show, because they showed up in our inbox at the right moment. Also because the divine bastards combined womenswear and menswear shows into one, which in 2016 probably shouldn’t be revolutionary, but there you go.

So.

Without further ado…

If you must own one thing from the Rag and Bone S/S ’17, own this:

rag-bone_ss-17_sweater

Still shot from rag-bone.com

Why?

Practical and unique. We guarantee you’ll get a million and a half wears out of this sweater, and you’ll look post modern AF doing it.

What would YOU pick to own from the show? Tell us in the comments box!

Onward,

The Decline + Fall Studios avant garde

Maybe it’s because…

…we’re in it for the fashion. Or maybe it’s because at heart, we’re a bunch of 87-year-old cranks.

But we sure are bone-tired of fashion magazine profiles on silver-screen celebrities.

Anybody else with us on this one?

When we were 18, and it was novel, sure. It was fun to read about Elijah Wood or Nicole Kidman or Whomever Else.

Now when we get to that section of the magazine we suddenly feel a million years old, like we’ve got a job to do we really don’t want to do.

We have the distinct sense that we’ve read them all. We’ve read every possible personality, from the shy kid who overcame a stutter or crippling anxiety to the action hero who’s actually just a really nice guy. They’re nice stories, don’t get us wrong. But eventually – at least for us – they’ve come to negate their original purpose of making celebrities sound like regular people by revealing that there are only so many personalities these celebrities have.

We are also tired of hearing that celebrities are just like us, only look at their sultry, smoldering poses in these $5,000 outfits.

(We’re also annoyed that the word ‘smoldering’ doesn’t have a ‘u’ in it. So…You know. We’re easily annoyed.)

What we would love to see instead, for example, is more “real people” – everyday shmoes on the street – looking stunning. Street style stuff, for example. We’re thinking profiles on street style bloggers, accompanied by a selection of their best work.

Or profiles of people in the business: models, designers, even the people with more unglamorous fashion jobs like merchandising or finance. We’d love to know more, for example, about the story of Zuhair Murad, who put out an absolutely stunning Spring 2016 collection. And not just the Vogue spot about the clothes themselves, but more about the designer’s past and the history of the business.

There are so many talented young designers fighting for a place at the fashion table. We’re sure magazines like Who What Wear or Harper’s Bazaar or Vogue could fill the space of infinite celebrity profiles introducing brands no one has heard of before.

And on the other side of the equation, Saint Laurent, for example (yes, we were also sad to hear about Hedi Slimane’s untimely departure): What does it look like for a brand to become so big, and what does that mean for its day-to-day operations? What does inside Saint Laurent look like on any given day? We’re curious.

Too often, we here at Decline + Fall Studios have to stop reading fashion magazines because the trite, clever, superficial writing makes us roll our eyes. This is an issue bigger than the celebrity profile, and it makes us sad.

It makes us sad that fashion writing so often lives down to the expectation that fashion itself is shallow, because at the very heart of it, what we wear is so inextricably linked with who we are. It isn’t shallow at all, but a deep and beautiful expression of our inner selves.

Fashion writing ought to live up to that.

In 2016, we here at Decline + Fall Studios are going to try our damnedest to bring you fashion profiles that matter. We want you to love fashion for what’s best about it, not roll your eyes at what’s worst about it.

We’re small, and no one knows about us, so we might have some trouble getting noticed. But everyone starts somewhere.

Please let us know what questions you want answered. Odds are, everyone else does too.

Here we go. Wish us luck.

Onward,

The Decline + Fall Studios team

The Decline + Fall experience

Let’s pretend, for a moment—if you’ll indulge us—that you recently purchased a Decline + Fall Studios tank top. You were perusing Etsy, perhaps. You were worn out from holiday shopping and only half paying attention.

You happened to scroll past a photo. It was bright, and cheery. And it seemed—dare we be so bold?—pleasantly clever. Even amusing. You scrolled back up to it.

Yes, that was nice. You thought about it for a moment. After all, you needed—well, wanted—no, needed—a new tank top. And after all, you’d bought so many lovely things for other people recently. Wasn’t it time to indulge yourself a little bit? Just a little, little bit?

You thought a moment more. Then you bought the tank top. Well done! It should come as no surprise that we here at Decline + Fall Studios fully endorse your purchase. Here is what to expect when your package arrives:

It will arrive in a plastic mailing sleeve—what we in the industry refer to as a “poly-mailer.” Take a look at the luster: Is it bright? Does the candlelight dance upon it? It should.

When you open the poly-mailer, you will find yourself faced with a small burlap sack. Run your hand over the burlap. Is it rough? Does it tickle your fingertips? It should.


Now, lick your lips. Open the burlap sack. Inside, you will find your tank top. It will be accompanied by a small, hand-written thank you note from all of us here at Decline + Fall Studios.


Take out your tank top. Inspect it. Is the ink even? Is it bold? Put the tank top on. Does it fit in all the ways you hoped? It should. It should be soft and loving and beautiful.

Wear your Decline + Fall tank top everywhere. You deserve it.

Welcome to the Decline + Fall family. We’re happy to have you.

Onward,
The Decline + Fall Studios team

It’s time to start shopping now.

They’re here. They’ve come.

-Frodo Baggins x Elijah Wood

Ladies and gentlemen (and all others), this is a very exciting day at Decline + Fall Studios. It is almost a year and as much love, sweat and tears in the making.

The Decline + Fall tanks have landed, and here they are:

man wanted

not famous

Each tank top sells for $17 + shipping + handling.

IMG_0520

The first tank says NOT FAMOUS AT ALL and is a perfect gift for the woman in your life who often ends up at hungover Sunday brunch spots. Or for the woman in your life who actually is famous and wants to fly under the radar. Or for the woman in your life who’s not famous at all, and proud of it.

The second tank says MAN WANTED APPLY WITHIN and is a perfect gift for the woman in your life who isn’t in your life. Yet.

If your millennial daughter is discerning in her apparel, she will appreciate NOT FAMOUS AT ALL. If your best girlfriend is perennially single (and straight), she will appreciate MAN WANTED. If your best guyfriend is in between lovers (and gay), he will appreciate MAN WANTED.

If you know any hipsters, add this to their ironic t-shirt collections this holiday season. They will love them. We guarantee it.

All Decline + Fall merch is available at our Etsy shop.

Any questions, comments, letters to the editor, please don’t hesitate to contact us at decline.fall.studios@gmail.com. Or hit us up on twitter @DeclinePlusFall.

Onward,

Ariel Ranieri
Owner
Decline + Fall Studios

stacked tank tops

The Decline and Fall Studios Tank

Welcome to the Decline + Fall Studios tank top.

sizing for tank tops xs thru xl

Sizing notes of note: medium is much longer than small. Extra large is much wider than large.

We are building our brand on a tank top created by Next Level Apparel, and sourcing from a company called S&S Activewear in Bolingbrook, Ill. Our printer is Chicago’s own Transit Tees, home of very beautiful designs based on the Second City. 

I originally fell in love with the Next Level Triblend Racerback Tank at Traverse City Whiskey Co. in Traverse City, Mich. If you haven’t experienced Traverse City Whiskey, I would suggest that you do.

I appreciate this tank top for its easy, casual fit and low neckline. It isn’t skin tight. It gives the body room to breathe. At 5’1″ and 130 pounds, I wear a size small for some breathability. An extra small hugs me pretty close.

A note on sizing: The bigger the size, the longer this tank top gets. Extra small and small hit me around the top to mid hips. Starting with medium, the shirts get inches longer. Extra large is long enough that I could wear it as a tunic.

stacked tank tops

As of TODAY, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015, we have ordered a short run of 55 of these tank tops, on which we will print two designs.

This is only the beginning. We look forward to releasing our product in time for the 2015 holiday season. Stay tuned for designs, pricing and where to shop.

Onward,

Ariel Ranieri
Owner
Decline and Fall Studios

The greatest failure of our age

merry go round horse_Randy Wick_CC

Flickr CC Randy Wick

will be that we couldn’t snap out of the cycle.

And that’s fine. Failure is fine. There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s not in our control anyway, whether we develop out of the inevitable back and forth of human history. Our age, like any age, will fall to the inimitable march of time, we will fade from memory and the world will go on without us.

And that’s fine.

We here at Decline and Fall Studios choose to celebrate that greatest of wars, the war against our own future, because in striving for utopia we display both the very best and the very worst of human nature. We push for a better future for mankind while thinking there’s such thing as an objective better future for mankind.

We’re not going to get to the top; there is no top. There is only one huge merry go round that we’re all on together, riding our flamboyant plastic horses, craning our necks to see if our parents are watching us. We’re all so grown up, going round and round all by ourselves. It all comes full circle, again and again.

But it’s okay. It’s okay not to achieve utopia, as long as we keep trying to snatch it. If in striving we fail, we can still say we strived. And when we realize we’ve failed then it will be time to strive, strive again.

And that’s fine. Let’s embrace that we will fail, as surely as we will strive,

And that’s fine.

That’s life.