Fashion+Style - Olivia Stren



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Raw Samples

FASHION magazine

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October, 2019

It’s noon on a cold, seasonally confused June day, and I’m standing in Manhattan’s SoHo under a torrent of sharp rain, its drops as fine as sewing needles. I’m somewhere in the middle of a queue that squiggles its way like rickrack down two city blocks, and there’s a thrum of anticipation and anguish in […]

Confessions of a Mom Bag

The Kit

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December, 2018

I recently submitted my DNA to and discovered that I’m related to Mary Poppins’s carpet bag. Granted, the connection is distant (I was born in a factory in the Chinese province of Zhejiang), but I should hardly be surprised: I’ve long known that I am a Mom Bag. All of my relatives—Carryalls, Totes and […]

Bed, Bath, and Beyond


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November, 2018

Growing up, I used to visit my grandmother at her con- do in Palm Beach, where my favorite activity was grocery shopping at the local Publix—the kind of supermarket that had valet parking and Alhambra-like archways swathed in bougainvillea. There, suntanned tycoons with skin more leathery than their Vuitton valises shuffled through the aisles shopping […]

Slip-Sliding Away

FASHION magazine

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May, 2018

I grew up watching Three’s Company and cultivating the conviction that being a grown-up meant living with a couple of good-looking roommates somewhere near a beach and getting embroiled in misunderstandings involving double entendres and a swinging kitchen door. But mostly it meant that I would grow up to wear the hell out of ’70s-style […]

She’ll Take You There


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November, 2017

I recently purchased an unreasonable number of outfits in shades of white and cream. When I wear them, I feel fresh, well-leisured, like the kind of person who lets other people worry about the tedium of laundry—i.e., rich. That is, totally unlike myself. Not long ago, as my two-and-a-half-year-old, Leo, approached my creamy new dress, […]

The Color Cure

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ELLE (U.S.) 

May, 2017

“Your mother looks like a gypsy,” a so-called friend once said to me, referring to the clothes my mom would wear to pick me up from school—no doubt making an entrance. It was the mid-80s. I was about 10 years old. Among all the other mothers, sensibly dressed in their sweatshirts and jeans or Angela […]

You Must Remember This

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FASHION magazine

March, 2017

 It was springtime in Paris. Horse-chestnut and almond trees were in white, fluffy bloom, and children were floating toy sailboats across the Jardin du Luxembourg’s Grand Bassin. I was about 12 years old, and I was in giddy, heart- fluttering love—with a bag. My mom and I were visiting my aunt, and the three of […]

Carte Blanche

May, 2016

{ View article PDF } I’m getting ready to leave the house, and my son is looking at me the way Jackson Pollock might have beheld a blank canvas, pre-masterwork. I am, after all, wearing layer upon fresh layer of white—snowy jeans from Swedish brand Acne, a Filippa K button-down that feels as though it’s been […]

No Filter

 { View article PDF } When Facebook was in its infancy, and people began posting shots of their offspring in their infancy, I made a private vow: In the interests of discre- tion and not turning into a wannabe stage mother, I would refrain from posting pictures of my own infant, should I ever have one, […]

Vow Factor

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FASHION magazine

April, 2013

OLIVIA STREN goes shopping for a wedding dress and finds out her perfect match isn’t tied up with bows I’m in wedding empress Ines di Santo’s Toronto boutique, fondling a frothy, aisle-long expanse of Chantilly lace, Italian silk and doppia faccia (double face) Italian satin—a decadent marriage between peau de soie and taffeta. “It feels like orchid […]