How many times have you read an interview where the subject claims not to care for trends? To shun the “must have” looks from the catwalk in favour of classic pieces or sticking resolutely to their own, unique style? If, like me, you’ve spent a decade plus guzzling fash mags (the same mags that bring us trend features… Go figure) then you’ve probably lost count. I’m sure many of the people who snort derisively at the mention of trends genuinely don’t alter their look just because, say, Heidi Slimane decided to channel Courtney Love one season and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. But equally, there’s no shame in buying a garment you wouldn’t have dreamed of wearing six months ago and goes with precisely nothing else in your wardrobe, purely because it caught your eye in the Vogue trend edit and you thought oh, what the hell.
From left: Saint Laurent, Stella McCartney & Prada SS14
Back in July I did a shoot for Company Magazine‘s November issue (see the final looks here) and the experience made me question my own approach to personal style. Generally speaking I have a pretty predictable “look”. Summer is all about pastels shades, floral prints, colour popping hues and broderie anglaise. When the temperature drops it’s rich autumnal knits, A line minis paired with knee high socks and princess coats. Peter Pan collars feature highly during both. Don’t get me wrong, I like my style. I feel comfortable and safe within it. But now and again I get so goddamn sick of sticking to the same fashion formula I’m tempted to attack my blouse collection with a pair of scissors. Anyway, back to the aforementioned shoot. We began with a walk through of the six looks I’d be modelling. The first two involved peplum tops, pleated skirts and buttoned up shirting. “We thought you’d love these” the stylist said. They’d got my number, I did. As we proceeded to move down the rail I noticed her begin to look a bit tentative. This, I soon learned, was because the next ensembles involved baseball caps, boyish sporty tees and oversized scuba style jerseys, not exactly very “me”. Unsurprisingly, I adored wearing outfits 1 and 2. With cinched waisted silk jacquard, pink metallics and cashmere all involved, they could easily have come straight out of my own wardrobe. More surprising, was what happened when we got to look number 3. I’ll admit, when I first laid eyes on the sculptural, neoprene top I had my hesitations. Wearing it with OTK boots, a leather skirt and dog tag necklaces, I felt like Rhianna with undertones of Cara Delevingne. As for the baseball caps, my feelings for them really were unexpected. I don’t think I’ve worn a cap since, well, ever and while their presence on the SS13 catwalks and street style blogs forced me to admit they can actually look pretty awesome I never even entertained the notion of giving one a whirl myself. Until now that is.
Call me a fashion victim if you will but I’m currently daring myself to try a few catwalk inspired styles outside my usual remit. Having purposefully ignored the fashion-world-wide fixation with luxed up sweatshirts I now own two (Kenzo and McQ) and feel both far cooler than I actually am and deliciously comfortable whenever I wear them. I’ve even been pairing them with Gap’s leopard print calfskin sneakers (not-so-slight Kenzo rip off) and thoroughly enjoy these brief jaunts down laid back lane. While I’m not about to totally switch up my style because of what I saw on the runway (although admittedly Phillip Lim’s biker molls did tempt me), there’s no reason one has to stick to all the time. Why not be a Park Avenue Princess one day and a plaid clad punkette the next? Or a high heeled Hitchcock heroine during the week and a trainer toting tomboy on the weekend? Playing dress up, taking on a new persona, challenging your sartorial boundaries, that’s what makes fashion fun if you ask me and I’ll be doing a lot more of it in future. Bring on the mannish tailoring, over the knee boots, mid-century hemlines and PVC. Hell, I may even a bit of Saint Laurent inspired grunge-ing. Never fear, there will still be Peter Pan collars, just maybe not quite so many of them.
Will you be trying out the trends this season or sticking to your own fashion formula?
Love Ella. X