Tuesday, October 19, 2010

That's so...

Have you ever bought something just because it reminded you of someone’s style. Obviously a good sense of style that you would want to emulate – the problem is, people look good in things that you think “that’s so... them” because it is so them. Do you really think you can pull off their look? And get away with it?

While in Melbourne earlier in the year, I went into one shop which looked like it held stuff I could get at home. What the hell, I thought, it looks like pretty cool clothes and surely there will be some things New Zealand won’t get. I ended up buying this really cool Wrangler dress/top (shirty dressy thing). When I saw it I thought “that’s so kate*” and she always looks so cool. I’m totally going to buy this”. And I did.
*Kate's name is not actually Kate.

So I get back to Wellington, go to a party where ‘kate’ hangs out and lo-and-behold it wasn’t just a dress that looked like something she would wear, it was something she owned. That’s why it looked so her. What a knob! And as it turned out, she was jealous of my one, because I’d bought in a different colour, which was apparently much preferable to the one she already had.

Well that backfired. That’s a totally great “casual night out (but still looking good)” top that I can no longer wear to that particular haunt – and it’s a regular haunt, where I go to parties alot, so basically there’s a whole group of people that will never marvel at my lovely dress again.

Lesson learned.

Really? I think not. I’m always finding some new fashion muse who I think looks great and kinda quirky and edgy and therefore try to buy similar things. And that is where it fails. That person looks different. When people start trying to look like them, I bet they go right ahead and change their look – always one step ahead of the fashion game. It doesn’t matter if it’s a real person or celebrity – the reason they look so good is that it’s totally them.

I’m currently a huge fan of Alexa Chung. There are two problems with this. Alexa Chung is like a million miles tall and super super skinny. I am pretty average all round. Alexa Chung has shitloads of money to spend on designer clothes as they come out. I shop off the rack – six months after the British season. It’s never going to work.

Ok, so we can’t all be fashion pioneers. But there’s two ways to go about it. You can be a sheep. Follow fashion blindly and ignore that most things doesn’t actually work for everyone. Or, you can be a leader – embrace what is distinctly you and create your own style. Obviously you have to work with what’s out there, but mixing it up with vintage/retro pieces. Pieces with individuality. Pieces that are “just so you”.

What I wouldn’t advise is being too much of a leader. There’s only room for so many Lagy Gagas out there. When you’re wearing meat just to stay ahead of the pack, you’ve gone too far!

(Below I have shared some of my celebrity fashion muses – they're not always on the money and I wouldn’t wear everything they wear – but they're certainly ladies of great style that is their own.)
Rachel Bilson
Gwen Stefani
Kelly Osbourne
Alexa Chung
Chloe Sevingy

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