No, this isn't anything to do with abortion campaigns but if it was it's a bit of a given that I'm of course going to be pro-choice. I therefore take the same attitude towards my style. Lately, I've been receiving comments/emails that veer beyond the obvious 'Oh you're so ugly/fat/retarded!' territory. An outbreak of imagination that is most pleasing to my good self, except that of course they're still negative but more constructive. "You try too hard/You're OTT/Rumi/Karla/Camille are so much cooler than you" (delete as you like...). We fashion bloggers are an increasingly larger circle now but still small enough to invoke comparisons which isn't necessarily a bad thing seeing as we do share common interests.
Still, I would like to take this opportunity to remind people of the obvious facts that make some of you construe that I'm a lesser citizen; a) I'm a little older than the aforementioned sparkling trio (and they do sparkle in a way that I don't...) and b) I'm less endowed in the skinny/pretty vibe that they possess. I'm cool with it seeing as I already made my Ugly Bed a while back when Saved by the Bell was still on television - let's get over that and move on shall we? If David Baddiel is ok with it, then so am I. But the really obvious point is... well... I'm a completely different person from them. That's not an American teen movie statement where saying 'I'm so different' immediately gains you an audience of other so-called misfits. I am just throwing out a dumb and obvious fact that I happen to be a different person with different genes, DNA, brain and the like. Yes, it might seem like all bloggers are converging into a fash blog NATO that means we might have to start wearing badges of united allegiance one day but I can safely say that as it stands, we are still individuals last time I checked.
Tofu black blazer, Smack dress, Tabio tights, Sergio Rossi wedges
The honest truth is that remarks like the ones detailed above and which you can find if you look back at any number of outfit posts that I have done of late, sting a little, because without meaning to sound like a complete twat - I KNOW that if I rolled up my Lanvin blazer sleeves, donned some cut-off denim shorts, black opaques, my Balenciaga-knock off boots and an AA tee, people would remark that I looked half-decent and vaguely dare I say chic? I've come to realise that the cliches about fashion conformity don't exist for no good reason. Originality is encouraged but god forbid if you don't worship at Christopher Decarnin's feet, think Carine Roitfeld is elegant amd that the Olsen twins are effing cool and want Alexander Wang to be your gay best friend, then you can just F right off and hide in a fashion cave, banished forever into the realms of un-cool and downright dorky.
I'd like to repeat though that I am in agreement with the statements above to varying degrees. Yes Balmain is pretty cool but why so bloody expensive considering the materials and workmanship? Carine Roitfeld is elegant but I'm not hankering for her to be my mother as I'm happy with my own. The Olsen twins are admittedly cool but only in comparison to other celeb dimwits who all like to claim fashion stakes in their own dubious clothing lines. I own an Alexander Wang top and skirt which are wearable enough but I happen to have a gay best friend who's infinitely better IMO.
Tim Ryan cardigan, Joseph grey sheer top, vintage grey t-shirt, Preen leather trousers, Sam Edelman boots
The point is, knowing all of that and knowing that tight body con dresses do make me look less deranged than I normally do. Knowing that greys, blacks and navies in varying textures are in fact very flattering. Knowing that leather trews worn simply and with killer boots are 'very Givenchy AW08-9'. Knowing that an oversized check shirt with a lot of black eyeliner, some black tights and Doc Martens is just so darn cool. Knowing all of that... and ALSO knowing that people (I'd like to refer to the trio if I may...) wear these looks in a devastating way and might I add, in a way that they can call their own...it's all not lost on me. I'm not in fact a mental case with hats, headpieces, necklaces and tights taking over my apartment and threatening to tangle me up in a cycle of style schizophrenia that a lot of people feel makes me look like an idiot. When in the right moment and for the right occasion, I do dress like the pics illustrated here.
BUT... if I don't happen to feel like it and if god forbid, I want to wear a ton of hot pink, a zipper-inspired head to toe outfit, lots of pom poms, fringe and scarves, a croc skin top with a fish scale skirt... etc etc... AND... it makes me very happy to do so and is in fact not offending anyone or hurting people in their life paths then.... by jove, I think I might wear those things. The choice in fashion is what has always endeared me to it and I will be damned if I'm to be limited to a palette/selection just for the sake of adhering to those fashion truths. I like those 'truths' well enough but what is so disturbing about wearing a simple Acne dress with studded heels one day and changing into a multi-coloured puffa jacket and floral tights the next?
Boyfriend's Lanvin shirt, Topshop black sequin shorts, black opaque tights, Doc Martens, H&M necklace
Hence, the Pro-Choice mantra. Why not take all those things into consideration; sponge up all of that knowledge, those fashion do's and truths that people love doling out, the combinations of outfits that are in most regards 'fail-safe', all of that AND more (the more in reference to something personal and harder to articulate here) and then mediate all of that into something of your own.
Of course one might say, selection is key! Rolled up blazers/jeans/trinkets a la Alexa Chung smack of insouciance and nonchalance. Oh those last two words which have dented my brain time and time again. Perhaps I never will quite understand the true meaning of them in which case people lambasting me are more than welcome to. Then there's the other cry of 'Oh but you must have a signature style - you can't wear EVERYTHING in the whole goddamn world...', to which I'll say 'Ikea gave me industrial storage and damnit, I'm going to fill every freakin' crevice with all manners of clothing.'
Therefore the aim here is I suppose not to chide the negative outcries but to present some sort of a defense argument, which I've been pondering about the past few months as I continue to be amused and saddened by how the cliches within fashion (there are others that I won't expand upon...) are so often spot on.
Uniqlo jumper, vintage denim shorts, Graey leggings, Salvatore Ferragamo flats
P.S. To the trio I mentioned in this post, I bear you no ill willin'. You do inspire me in ways that would feel odd to express as I'm in fact a blogging granny compared to you guys yet I feel like a sad banal dork anyway when in your online presence. I'm only responding to your loyal fans who seem to think that we should all walk under the American sun in matching outfits to appease their eyes. If you don't mind, I'd prefer to walk on a disgusting British beach under grey skies in a crazily patterned dress, mis-matched tights and non-suitable footwear.
Ta very muchy.
P.P.S. This is also not some sort of "Boo hoo poor me!" post. This has plagued my mind for a few months now and I feel like it's gotten to that theres-a-pink-elephant-in-the-room stage and nobody wants to talk about it. Let's get it all out and just point out the obvious as I do sometimes feel like I'm taking ker-razy pills.