what is the mob wife aesthetic?

Even Francis Ford Coppola, director of The Godfather movies, has taken notice posting images of Diane Keaton and his sister Talia Shire to his Instagram account, writing: “I hear the ‘mob wife aesthetic’ is making a comeback…”

Why are there no mob wives on the haute couture runway?

Haute couture is the height of fashion, controlled and regulated by France’s Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, which vets the designers taking part. Key players are luxury houses keen to express their heritage rather than jump on Insta-trends.

This season designers mined past glories of their fifties golden era as we experience the new economic normal, leaving no room for Carmela Soprano look-alikes to muscle their way in.


At Dior, creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri turned to the ladylike La Cigale dress from 1952 for inspiration, using faintly iridescent moire fabric.

Beyond the gimmicks of robot babies and a dress with an inbuilt calculator, Daniel Roseberry at Schiaparelli stuck to the rigid silhouettes of the label’s founder, with nipped waists and structural collars.

Virginie Viard at Chanel explored the restraint of ballet. “I have tried to bring together the power and finesse of bodies and clothes in a very ethereal collection, composed of tulle, ruffles, pleats and lace,” Viard says in the show notes.

In short, no leopard print and hoop earrings.

Mob revenge

The enthusiasm of mob wife dressing is a bright red antidote to the refinement of the haute couture runway. Executed with precision, it updates the exuberant colours and details worn by immigrants in the fifties and sixties to express their heritage in cultures where WASP-ish high society was the feminine ideal.

Unfortunately, the mob wives tag adds a sheen of violence and over-the-top make-up to styles already celebrated regularly in the ready-to-wear work of Italian labels Dolce & Gabbana and Versace.

Big sunglasses, big fur, big attitude. The mob <a href=wife trend seen at Paris Fashion Week in September.” loading=”lazy” src=”https://static.ffx.io/images/$zoom_0.106%2C$multiply_0.7725%2C$ratio_1.5%2C$width_756%2C$x_0%2C$y_10/t_crop_custom/q_86%2Cf_auto/e74f66a0a36f10279c360444e41c1ef92366bce2″ height=”390″ width=”584″ srcset=”https://static.ffx.io/images/$zoom_0.106%2C$multiply_0.7725%2C$ratio_1.5%2C$width_756%2C$x_0%2C$y_10/t_crop_custom/q_86%2Cf_auto/e74f66a0a36f10279c360444e41c1ef92366bce2, https://static.ffx.io/images/$zoom_0.106%2C$multiply_1.545%2C$ratio_1.5%2C$width_756%2C$x_0%2C$y_10/t_crop_custom/q_62%2Cf_auto/e74f66a0a36f10279c360444e41c1ef92366bce2 2x”/>

Big sunglasses, big fur, big attitude. The mob wife trend seen at Paris Fashion Week in September.Credit: Getty

Black corsets, animal print and hoop earrings are already fashion mainstays, having become as common as double denim suits. Throwing a fake fur on top doesn’t make it a trend.

Haute couture vs Mob wives. Who wins?

The mob wife trend rests heavily on fur coats, heavy fabrics and make-up that couldn’t survive an Australian summer or autumn. Even winter is a push. All signs point to the trend being a hit-and-run, like coastal grandma chic and gothcore.

Let the clean lines of the haute-couture shows settle before taking out a loan and ordering a cocktail dress. Save your money, put on a swimsuit, enjoy the rest of summer and avoid being a fashion victim until the next core trend arrives on your screen or the runway.

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