The comparisons began as soon as the click of cameras met the clack of Olivia Rodrigo’s white platform heels outside the White House on Wednesday.
Wearing a 1995 pink Chanel skirt suit on her pro-vaccination mission, was Ms. Rodrigo channeling the law-school Barbie aesthetic of Elle Woods in “Legally Blonde”? Was she referencing the plaid sets of Cher Horowitz in “Clueless”? Was her choice inspired by the famously fashionable first lady Jackie Kennedy Onassis? (A somewhat disturbing proposal, given the occasion most associated with that particular pink Chanel suit.)
“All those references were in the back of our heads,” said Chenelle Delgadillo, who works as Ms. Rodrigo’s stylist along with her sister Chloe. But the stylists were wary of being too obvious with any one reference — and of making a statement that would detract from the White House’s vaccine campaign.
“Politics are always touchy,” Ms. Delgadillo said. “We didn’t want her to be in red or blue. I didn’t want the internet to read into the outfit more than it needed to be, which a lot of times happens.”
For her public appearances, Ms. Rodrigo, the 18-year-old pop star behind the hit single “Drivers License” (and now the No. 1 album in U.S.), almost exclusively wears fashion from or inspired by the 1990s and 2000s. It’s part of what makes her the perfect middle-parted avatar for her generation.
Thrifting has become a defining shopping habit of Generation Z, whose members make up more than 40 percent of the $28 billion global secondhand fashion market, according to an annual report from ThredUp, an online consignment company. On the resale platform Depop, 90 percent of active users are younger than 26. For the environmentally minded Gen Zer, resale has come to represent a sustainable and ethical alternative to fast fashion.
Ms. Rodrigo, who buys and sells her clothes on Depop, “doesn’t care about the brand necessarily,” Ms. Delgadillo said. “She never asks: ‘Who is this?’ She asks: ‘Is this vintage or is this secondhand?’”
Before her visit to the White House, Ms. Rodrigo spent her post-album release appearances wearing ’90s pink leather pants by Versace and printed jeans by Jean Paul Gaultier. Earlier this summer, she paired a Vivienne Westwood plaid miniskirt with another Gen Z staple, the extreme, lingerie-inspired crop top.
Each of those vintage pieces came from the Los Angeles store Aralda Vintage, a favorite resource for celebrity stylists, including Ms. Rodrigo’s stylists. It’s where Ms. Rodrigo found her White House outfit, too — a pink tweed set with plaid stripes (slivers of red, yellow, turquoise and black) which crisscrossed at her waist to create a corset effect.
She also wore white patent platform heels by Giuseppe Zanotti that were nearly six inches tall (previously seen on the likes of Dua Lipa and Ariana Grande); black socks were added to make the outfit look less sexy and more youthful and unexpected. The heels were later swapped for black Chanel loafers inside the White House — a comfort-based decision, her stylists said.
If the logo-engraved buttons and tweed wool of her suit — a bit warm for D.C.’s 90-degree heat — did not make the outfit’s provenance clear enough, Ms. Rodrigo also wore a thin silver belt with dangling charms spelling out Chanel.
When Karl Lagerfeld put the suit in his Spring 1995 runway show, he made a similar version in purple and pale blue. The New York Times, nearly 27 years ago, described the suits in this collection as “seductive,” designed as if to say that “for women, sex is power, and flaunting femininity, not repressing it, is what makes women triumphant over men.”
When Ms. Rodrigo’s stylists reached out to Aralda Vintage in search of Chanel suits specifically, it felt like “kismet,” said Brynn Jones, the store’s owner. She has several in her inventory, but she thought immediately of the pink and purple suits she had acquired from spring 1995.
“I find myself flooded with nostalgia with this specific collection — 1995 was the year that the movie ‘Clueless’ came out, and you can see so much of that era in this collection,” Ms. Jones said. “I was 10 years old when I watched ‘Clueless’ for the first time, and as cheesy as it sounds, that movie was so impressionable. I think I never looked at clothing the same again. Every time I’m able to find a special ’90s Chanel piece, it’s a small victory for both the tween in me and the 35-year-old me.”
Ms. Jones’s inventory skews eclectic and youthful, she said, and she described Ms. Rodrigo as a “dream client” beyond just her personal style — as someone with “awareness about what is going on with the environment and how destructive fast fashion is.”
“Olivia has worked with a few stylists, and across the board, they all say that she only ever wants vintage,” Ms. Jones said. “This newer generation, it’s all they want.”
In an historic move, the Italian government has granted protected heritage status to the Venice lagoon and banished towering cruise ships from entering its waterways.
The landmark decision came on Tuesday, July 13, ahead of a meeting of the United Nations cultural heritage body UNESCO, which had threatened to place the lagoon on its list of World Heritage in Danger.
Venice first pledged to ban the hulking ships back in 2012, and a series of resolutions put in place since then have failed to materialize. Now, for the first time, authorities have instituted a firm date by which cruise liners will be blocked from the waterways: August 1.
The decision comes as a victory for local residents and environmental campaigners, who have been fighting to ban cruise ships from the lagoon for years, warning of the need to protect its fragile ecosystem from mass tourism. On the other side, public authorities were reluctant to jeopardize the economic boon brought to the city by the cruise industry.
The most recent promise to ban the mega-ships came from Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi back in April—but it was predicated on the condition that the government build an alternative port for tourists to disembark, which could take years to complete.
The ban was expedited on the eve of a meeting of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee, which was due to discuss the conservation of the historic city and lagoon. In a statement, Italy’s Culture Minister Dario Franceschi explained that he wanted “to avoid the real risk” that the city would be classed as an endangered world heritage site.
The new decree removes the building of a new port as a condition of the ban and designates the urban waterways of the San Marco basin and canal, as well as the Giudecca canal, as a national monument.
After August 1, no ships heavier than 25,000 tons, longer than 180 meters (about 590 feet), taller than 35 meters (about 115 feet), or which use more than 0.1 percent sulfur content in their fuel will be allowed to enter the lagoon.
While the decree primarily targets large cruise ships, some mega-collectors swanning in for the Venice Biennale on superyachts could also be affected.
In a few short weeks, cruise ships will be diverted to the nearby industrial port of Marghera, where the regional authority will be responsible for building at least four temporary docks, according to a statement from the Italian Culture Ministry. The prime minister has also promised to compensate sailing companies and other businesses reliant on cruise traffic that will be adversely affected by the ban.