Friday, March 23, 2012

Appreciating aesthetic effort

They might not be the most attractive people on the street, but you’ll be darned if you can stop looking at them. These are the people I usually notice over your regular ridiculously good-looking passers-by. These are people that take a lot of time working on their own aesthetic, whether it’s going to be appealing to you or not. And these are the people I appreciate, because of the time and careful effort they have put into their look.
Of course there are the usual suspects; a perfectly tailored suit with impeccably shiny shoes and hair, top-to-toe preening, handbags and scarves effortlessly matching... but then there’s the ones that take you by surprise.

For me this is often a perfectly shaggy too-cool-to-care aesthetic that you know has been fretted over before leaving the mirror, or an entire gothic outfit complete with jet-black hair (and maybe a pink streak), fishnets and oversized boots. These outfits that are hard to come by, you can’t walk into any old shop along Lambton or Cuba and have the sales assistant grab a size up and size down, just in case, and are therefore deserving of an appreciative nod. If nothing else.

There’s one couple that I regularly see on the bus and the guy’s got this whole Scott Disick aesthetic going on. His fiancée is attractive in a generic way (don’t ask how I know they’re to be married, they just look like that young couple that would have their lives set out, live and love each other blissfully (on the outside at least), and therefore be engaged), but it’s the effort that goes into this guy’s look that makes me appreciate our shared journeys.

Having redeemed himself from Douchebag of the Universe status, Mr Disick isn’t such a bad lead to follow. Yes, he still dresses like the D-bag we once knew him to be, but the aesthetic is his own. How many other twenty-somethings do you see walking around in pink paisley shirts, cravats and velvet blazers, with hair greased up like an oil-slicked seal and toting a range of canes? This guy established his look, whether you like it or not, and stuck to his guns. You know he doesn’t leave the house looking anything but immaculate, perhaps somewhat ridiculous, but full points for effort. Ol’ bus douche is working on the same principle – perhaps his fiancée makes him stay up to watch Kardashians on a Tuesday night for pointers? Without this ‘look’ he probably wouldn’t be remotely palatable to me – slick-back hair and an abundance of LV accessories has never done it for me – but I do appreciate individuals that put in the time.

The same goes for everyone. Whether you’re an overt fashionista or secret style maven, make your look your own, take time and effort with before you leave the house, and wear it with confidence and you too will be the person bus gawkers like me take note of.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Autumn Emerging

While savvy shoppers will be grasping at the last of the Summer sales, Autumn styles are slowing overtaking the racks. One emerging trend for Autumn 2012 are soft and dusky colours that reflect the turning leaves.

Dusky pinks, burgundy, and blues feature largely as the weather cools off, reminiscent of impressionist landscapes. These are still dark and deep colours, coated with a shade of grey, rather than pastels and ‘baby’ hues. To me this palette suggests warmth amidst the cool.
And they are best worn among their own ilk. Black contrasting is harsh and overpowering, so find dusky colours that complement each other if you’re going to layer up.

Often garments in these colours will be textural, like wool, and if you do want to harden up the cloudy feel, wear them with tan/brown chinos, brown leather belts, or accompanying clothing in tweed. And as always with chunky or textured layers, it’s a game of two halves – one is sleek and smooth and one is bulky or billowy.

So wrap up with gorgeous knits and scarves and keep snug this Autumn, while thinking about transition clothing. Dusky knits with shorts or minis over tights creates a flawless contrast that will see you through the changing season.

Statement necklaces 2012

Since I’m on such a roll talking about both accessories and things that have been rattling around in my head since the end of 2011, I might as well continue. It has created quite the posting streak and we all know that’s for the good of the nation. I’m just glad to do my part.

I’ve also done my part by pumping money into the economy, one fashion item at a time. Yesterday I couldn’t leave Glassons without picking up this…
Totally cute right? But it reminded me of all the large feature necklaces that have been gracing celebrity necks in the last few months. There has been a serious swing away from the long-chain-with-ornament clustering to a one-piece-says-it-all kind of movement. These pieces are big, bold, and optionally bright – the majority being one part only, almost a neck “cuff”.

Statement pieces like this need to speak for themselves and are best worn as the feature of your outfit, not an added extra. They almost remind me of Egyptian jewellery, as if being able to afford one giant piece of precious metal makes more of a statement than a little sparkle on a string. I’m sure Kim K wouldn’t mind being likened to a modern-day Cleopatra, and she’s been rocking the trend like a champ.

Drawing on this, I’ve also seen a few red-carpet gowns that incorporate the necklace as part of the dress. The drape from the neck draws your eye towards the piece, while highlighting its solidity – its upholding the styling while literally holding up the dress.
What I loved about my little Glassons purchase was the two-for-one styling of a statement necklace and feature collars. It works perfectly with this collarless shirt dress but I think it would be in its element worn over a plain black or blue high necked top. Just as you can now buy detachable collars to add the peter pan or bow-tied collar to your wardrobe favourites, this necklace adds a pop you mightn’t always require of your staple dresses and tops. It’s win-win.

It’s also very wallet friendly – that is, you don’t have to go out and buy big-ticket items that are on trend, but might not be at the end of the season. Treat yourself to statement pieces that bring something new to any clothes you add them to, and you’ll find you can make up looks on half the budget.

Choose your statement necklace as one solid piece or a tightly connected cluster of elements. Keep them close to the neckline so that they create a collar. And if you take nothing else away, wear them on their own. This trend is not about layering. It’s simplistic chic at its best.