The student newspaper of Strath Haven High School. The Panther Press is first and foremost a reflection of the opinions and interests of the student body. For this reason, we do not publish any anonymous or teacher-written submissions, and we do not discriminate against any ideology or political opinion. While we are bound by school policy (and funding), we will not render any article neutral, although individual points may be edited for obscene or inflammatory content. Finally, the articles published in the Panther Press do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors or advisors.

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Capes: A Rising Superpower in the World of Fashion

Ryan Sheehan, '17, Editor

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Have you been wondering what to get for your fashionable friend this holiday season? No? You don’t subscribe to the forced consumerism of the holiday season that convinces a general populace that material goods will make all of their problems momentarily disappear? Well, that’s a pretty bleak outlook, man. It sounds like you’ve got some stuff you need to go figure out. This article probably isn’t going to fix that. However, if you happened to answer yes, then I’m here to help.

As we all learned from Edna Mode in The Incredibles, capes are an absolute no for any serious superhero. However for us mere mortals, capes have been starting to creep back into the zeitgeist. Originally common in medieval Europe, these flowing garments have been proliferating in 2016 and have been seen on eminent figures such as Gigi Hadid, Emma Stone, and Future among others. In fact, actor Antonio Banderas (who has been in a total of 92 movies and has recently shifted his focus to the world of fashion) even announced last year that one of his ongoing goals is to bring capes back to menswear.

So what is causing this revitalization? As Banderas puts it, the idea that they’re simply “easier than a coat” is a major contributor. Furthering this point, he continues, “you walk it off.” He is not alone in this sentiment: Also commenting on the allure of capes, Moscow-based designer Olga Vilshenko believes that they “are not just something different to wear but they also give a special feeling when you put them on.”

Now that’s all well and good, but one must remember that Banderas and Vilshenko are also living in a world where they can essentially get away with wearing anything. So to remedy this inequality, I decided to get another perspective on capes from someone based more in reality. For this, I turned to one of Strath Haven’s resident fashion experts, Jacob Szepessy, to see what he had to say: “[The cape] would appear to be a very versatile garment: there’s the cape-coat, the coat-cape, the cloak, and the cardigan cape. But I can’t say that I own any, nor am I particularly motivated to. As a trend, it’s ridiculous. We’re not going that far back in fashion history.”

Obviously, the perceived notion of capes is very polarized. But let us just assume for now that you fall on the procapes side of this debate. What kind of options are currently available to you? From most affordable to most expensive, here is quick rundown of where you can blow your cape budget. First, we have the standard ‘Cape in Black’ from ASOS retailing at $18.00. Unfortunately, this cape is in fact so popular that it has been out of stock for some time now. However, in case you need to feel like Zorro effective immediately, ASOS luckily boasts a wide selection to keep up with current demand. Their offerings range from the ‘Kimono Cape in Camel Felt’, to the ‘Super Oversized Hooded T-Shirt Cape in Blue’, to my personal favorite, the ‘Holidays Reindeer Poncho’.

From there, we’ve got some designer pieces for the true cape connoisseur who only wants the best. For only $1,860, you can pick up a ‘Carla Embroidered Wool Cape’ from Olga Vilshenko, the designer I mentioned earlier. But maybe you’re looking for something more gender neutral. Look no further than the Rick Owen’s ‘Twist Velvet Cape’ starting at $2,061. Charity? What’s that? I’ve only heard of capes.

Now that you’re a more informed cape consumer, you can continue to ignore issues that actually matter. Rest assured, whenever you walk into a room sporting a heathered, sherpa-trim cape, everyone will be too preoccupied with how fierce you look to wonder if you’re up to date on the status of DAPL. As you walk around, your cape catching the wind like you’re a chic time traveler from the age of Chaucer, it won’t matter that you thought Palestine was a guy earlier. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and get all of your loved ones capes this holiday season while you still can. They really are flying off the shelves.

The student newspaper of Strath Haven High School. The Panther Press is first and foremost a reflection of the opinions and interests of the student body. For this reason, we do not publish any anonymous or teacher-written submissions, and we do not discriminate against any ideology or political opinion. While we are bound by school policy (and funding), we will not render any article neutral, although individual points may be edited for obscene or inflammatory content. Finally, the articles published in the Panther Press do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors or advisors.
Capes: A Rising Superpower in the World of Fashion