Friday, May 7, 2010

secret smile...

When I stumble upon a store or website that is so great, so fabulously retro or indie – whatever – I become a fashion deviant. My usually open-forum take on life goes all Mona Lisa on your asses. I’ve got a secret smile about my special find but don’t even try to go deeper into the canvas, I’m not giving anything away.

It’s a terrible way to live. I want people to know about the great things I see and buy, yet I don’t want people to go out and buy the same things. The chances of that happening are pretty minimal – I’m not talking about going to the same Supre sale – these are the places where individuality is the underlying theme; if you can’t find something original there you might as well give up all hope now and wear whatever the Hallensteins/Glassons conglomerate tells you to. Yet still I’m reluctant to spill the fashion beans.

Individual fashion is about mystery – you want people to ask the all-time covetous question “where did you get that?”. If it’s a bargain/epic find from a usually conformist store you’re likely to tell them straight away – boast about your marvellous find and point them in the right direction to get one for themselves. (Confident in the knowledge that most people wouldn’t go and buy the same thing.) But if the shop itself is the rare find, chances are that person will investigate and possibly find their own piece of fashion heaven in what you now feel is exclusively your store. This is when I get vague. Even more so to people who I know will appreciate it.

If you read fashion blogs/magazines etc, think about Dita Von Teese. Queen of the vintage dress. I’ve read a few quotes from her about her fashion sense and they often say something like “you won’t catch me wearing jeans... I feel much more comfortable slipping into one of my vintage dresses.” I’m sure no one would ever try and imitate her style without looking like they’re doing just that – yet she gives nothing away. (Meanwhile, where did Ashlee Simpson get her Kentucky Derby outfit from? I've never seen her look so vintage/cute, but me likey very much.)

There’s a vintage/retro clothing website which I frequent. If asked where an item came from I refer to it as “this American website – it has amazing retro clothing and...” hedge for my life away from the details. It is the best thing on the web I have discovered since Go Fug Yourself (possibly the funniest fashion blog ever) and despite being in American dollars, it’s pretty reasonable in terms of getting something that you know no one else is going to have. Even after shopping in a different country (albeit a close one) I came back to work to find that my colleague – one of three other people I sit in an office with – had bought two of the exact same items I came back with while she was doing her own intrepid shopping journey! For goodness sakes!

Am I crazy selfish, or justified in guarding my fashion identity? Do you have clothes that give you the secret smile and sealed lips?

1 comment:

  1. Hazel I think you're safe, I always wonder where you got your clothes but would never buy the same thing, because thats just copying! (Except tights of purpleness).
    Also. It is a great feeling when someone says "where'd you get that jacket" and you can reply with "oh this? I bought it in Berlin".

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