Spokescouple. Photo by Vickie Chang
Spokescouple. Photo by Vickie Chang


The whole skull-and-crossbones thing? Not so cool anymore. I'm not sure who decides what kitschy juvenile icon is the next "thing" for kids these days, but we've seen the resurgence of everything from pirates, owls, swallows and nautical stars to robots. Mainly pirates, for about three years; thank the Pirates of the Caribbeanfranchise for the latest resurrection of puffy shirts, stripes, headscarves and velvet coats. Now it's trickled down to the Hot Topic kind of crowd . . . uh, not that there's something wrong with that. (Not everyone can afford the $450 Alexander McQueen skulls-and-crossbones scarves that were instantly infamous and sold-out-everywhere—and which still grace the outfits of the Olsens, L. Lo, and Ashlee Simpson.)

Vivienne Westwood—whose clothing the Sex Pistols wore at their first-ever gig—led the last swashbuckling revival when she debuted her 17th- and 18th-century-inspired pirate collection in 1981; she in turn has inspired two other British pirate- and high-seas-obsessed designers, the ultra-lavish John Galliano (currently designing for the house of Dior) and McQueen.

The key, if you're going to do the pirate thing, is not too over the top and no actual skulls. Just like this head-turning couple. Head scarf? Check. Striped frock with subtle touches of gold brocade and brass buttons? Check, too. Many nautical-inspired pieces can seem campy or costume-y—the common criticism for both McQueen and Galliano—but when paired with more muted items like an unembellished pair of jeans or a simple brown leather purse with matching heels? Perfect. Gorgeous, even.

As for the guy (love the free- flowing mane and beard, by the way), his black-on-black-on-black outfit is low-key but still totally a great look, particularly when paired with a large necklace with an antique silver finish and black beads and the worn-in Cuban-heeled black boots. And next to each other, they look even more awesome—worthy of being a Galliano-spokescouple.


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