I Dressed as Ariana Grande for a Week
All hail Ariana Grande, Dangerous Woman, Non-Crier of Tears, Sexy Pinkie Finger, BDE Magnet. This year, she has been able to do no wrong. Song of the summer? Check. Drive-thru engagement to a devoted Slim Jim? Done and dusted. New album? Coming soon. If you care at all about celebrities, Ariana’s likely been in your feed, lovingly holding Pete Davidson’s hand and lampshading.
Lampshading? Qué? If you have never heard of it and were still confused after googling because you are an Old (no? just me?), it's a real Thing. According to ELLE.com's resident hypebeast Chloe Hall, the term refers to a look made up of one blousy all-enveloping top element (like a sweatshirt that’s three sizes too big or a jacket that is also three sizes too big) and skintight thigh-high boots. The top is the shade, and your li’l legs are the lampstand. Voilà!
It’s not a new concept, as ELLE’s deputy editor Katie Connor reminds me: “Back in my day we just called it Donald Ducking—shirt, no pants.” In the same vein, before Ariana, there was Winnie the Pooh. But Ariana is 2018's billowy fashion bellwether, so that's what we're going to call it.
Ariana is basically the patron saint of lampshading. Every day she's on the street in thigh-high boots and a giant hoodie. But why is she so fond of the look? Isn't she hot? Like so freaking hot? Is there some secret benefit to dressing like ornamental lighting? Could I, too, love lamp(shading)? I tried it for a week to see.
1. Lampshading is hot—like, sexual hot.
You know when you were a kid and saw thigh-high boots for the first time, and some older kid casually called them “fuck-me boots"? And you were like, "Blessings, now I finally understand sex"? Well, that 15-year-old was right. If your boot ends below the knee, you’ve got family-friendly footwear, friend—take those babies to the United Nations! But if your boot creeps o’er that cairn of cartilage? What might seem like minimal leather acreage is basically a neon sign that reads, “Yes, I am aware of and more-than-averagely interested in boning!”
How do I know? On my first day of lampshading—in crazy-buttery Le Silla grey suede boots and a snuggly yellow Cloney hoodie—my esteemed colleagues immediately let me know how NSFW I suddenly look. Our market editor Justine Carreon starts laughing (and filming). “Sure, just pretend this is appropriate for the office," she says. "That’s fine." But that's the whole idea, isn't it? Ariana often opts for a huge BAPE tee or flannel shirt that could have been plucked off Pete Davidson's floor before a Starbucks run. There's something "Ride dick bicycle" about that for sure.