Ever since Angie – er, Angelina Jolie – described daughter Shiloh‘s masculine aesthetic as “Montenegro Style,” we have been utterly mystified by this strange term that Angie seems to have made up solely to amuse herself and hatch the seedlings of a Shiloh-inspired tween line to be sold at Barneys (the men’s section, holla!). We are assuming you have the same fascination! So we have consulted Crushable’s noted style expert and fashion photographer Aurora Grayson, and do our best to answer every question you may have about “Montenegro Style.”
Q: What IS “Montenegro Style”?
A: As Hillary Reinsberg has written, “Montenegro is a tiny ass country near Serbia and Croatia.” Shiloh’s style, then, is European-utilitarian in sensibility with fashion-y accents. See the gray skinny jeans and cargo pants; the collared Polos, boyish blazers, vests and bomber jackets. The bowler hats. The colorful hipster sneakers.
Q. Are there any comparable styles?
A. Yes, “The Urban Dad In Midlife Crisis.” “The Foreign Exchange Student.” “The Talented Mr. Ripley.”
Q. Wasn’t Casino Royale filmed in Montenegro?
A. Why yes, it was! The famous poker tournament scenes took place there, and it’s where Bond (Daniel Craig) and the devastatingly fabulous Vesper Lynd (Eva Green) fell in love. Shiloh takes more after Bond.
Q. Do you think Angelina was referring to that film?
A. Partly. The culture of this windswept Mediterranean country used to be extremely patriarchal; in order to gain the societal status of men, it made (makes) sense for some women to have to dress like them. Which is what countless Western working women were once forced to do by wearing boxy shapeless suits to the office to be “one of the boys,” like in the ’80s and ’90s (which explains why our mom had so many pantsuits).
Q. OK. But do you think maybe she was messing with our heads with the whole “Montenegro Style” thing? Like she and Brad are drinking red wine, throwing their heads back and laughing at us?
A. Look, Angie does nothing by accident. She knows exactly what to do to stoke the media’s attention – the blood-vial necklace, kissing her brother, stealthily hiring a photographer to get the first shots of her and Brad together on a Kenyan beach, wearing a yellow dress instead of a black dress – but this time, she’s sincere. As she told Vanity Fair, she dresses her 4-year-old daughter “like a little dude. Shiloh, we feel, has Montenegro style. It’s how people dress there. She likes tracksuits, she likes [regular] suits. She likes to dress like a boy. She wants to be a boy. So we had to cut her hair. She likes to wear boys’ everything. She thinks she’s one of the brothers.”
Q. Could it be that Shiloh wants to be like Maddox?
A. Maddox is Angie’s first child, adopted from Cambodia. He helped her to shrug off her self-destructive tendencies and reinvent herself as an Earth Mother and Global Citizen Of The World. If Shiloh does look up to Maddox’s style – which has a slightly punkish, rebellious element to do it – then she she does so as a younger sibling who admires her older brother and his hallowed status as the No. 1 man in her mother’s life. Because kids are so impressionable, it’s safe to say that, yes, she might be imitating Maddox.
Q. Will we be seeing “Montenegro Style” on the runways next fall?
A: Unlike Shiloh walks down the runway come Fall 2011, not a chance.
Q. How can I get “Montenegro Style”?
A. Shop your closet!!! Remember that North Face from 2005? Joking. Ha ha. Well, it’s so easy: To transition into fall, wear a long-sleeved button-down (belted into skinny cargo trousers) with Euro-style sneakers, a hoodie and a Marc by Marc Jacobs messenger bag. Cut your hair in a boyish ‘do – not the gamine Emma Watson pixie, but more like an unfussy Ellen DeGeneres crop.
Q. Is Shiloh gay or “gender confused” as some suggest?
A. Shiloh is 4 years 0ld. Some girls prefer to dress like boys – that does not mean they are “gender confused.” Also, she is 4 years old!
Q. That’s a decent question though, right? Riiiight??
A. It is, and it’s not a bad or wrong one – given Shiloh’s worldwide fame, everything she says or does or wears will be scrutinized. The fact that she disdains traditional “girly-girl” style, however, is a refreshing twist from Suri‘s luxe-pageanty heels and lipstick. Perhaps “Montenegro Style” should be re-coined “Shiloh Style.”