A Question of Taste

Random post coming up people! Much as I don’t like to mess with my own schedule, sometimes it has to be done and at the moment I seem to be doing it on a pretty regular basis. On this occasion the source of my inspiration appeared during a high speed dash between meetings in central London. I was striding down Conduit Street, Starbucks in one hand, iPhone in the other attempting to simultaneously tweet, email, Instagram, not be late and avoid scalding myself with my extra hot skinny latte when something stopped me in my tracks. This “something” was Moschino’s boutique, namely a drop-dead-amazing heart detail tartan kilt in the window styled to the max with buttoned up shirting and Highland inspired regalia. All thoughts of promptness swiftly vanished and I went inside to take a closer look. The place was wall to wall with playful, tongue-in-cheek, preppette mash ups. Burnished silk jacquard skater dresses with crisp white collars, dizzying checks, equestrian inspired tailoring and the aforementioned kilt in various incarnations. Were Cher Horowitz still a High School Senior (and, y’know, slightly less fictional) she would have DIED over these pieces!

Moschino AW31 (images via Style.com)

Before you wring your hands in fury and puzzlement, I assure you I’m not about to claim to have “discovered” Moschino. It’s one of the most iconic Italian brands in the fashion stratosphere (fash-o-phere?) such a thing would be ridiculous. But for some reason unbeknown to everyone, myself included, I didn’t manage to clock how completely and to my taste it is. As I’ve no doubt told you all before a million and one times, minimalism doesn’t float my boat. I like my fash with a side of fun and preferably a whole lotta pattern. After spending longer than I care to admit gawping open mouthed at the sartorial fare on show I finally made it to my meeting, late of course. But throughout the enjoyable hour of coffee and chit chat that ensued I couldn’t stop daydreaming of all things Moschino. Naturally the first thing I did when I got home was hit up Style.com to re-ogle the whole collection. I was both surprised and totally non-surprised to learn that Tim Blanks had given it perhaps one of the most appalling reviews of all time. This got me to wondering about personal style, good taste and the whole premise of fashion show reviews. Are any clothes genuinely, unequivocally “bad” – as Blanks would no doubt dub Moschino AW13 – or is it all just a question of taste?

A couple of seasons ago I remember the subject coming up with an editor friend at the Jason Wu afterparty. We got to chatting about the day’s shows and I began banging on about how much I adored the Kate Spade New York collection. To this my friend, a woman who’s wardrobe I shamelessly covet, pulled a face of complete and utter horror. Admittedly her style is more effortless Parisian elegance than Park Avenue Princess prep and she’s a fair bit older than me but still, the fact someone who really knows fashion could think a brand I’ve always considered to be the bees knees made fundamentally not nice clothes, left me equal parts appalled and intrigued. What if, after all these years lampooning Ugg boots, boob tubes, tracksuit bottoms with logos on the arse and other items that shall remain nameless, I’ve been wrong to insist on their vileness? Perhaps one woman’s jeggings are another woman’s J Brands, if you get my drift.

isabel marant taste

An item that particularly exemplified this conundrum were Isabel Marant’s now ubiquitous wedge high top trainers. Now, I worship at the altar of Isabel Marant as much as the next fashion obsessive but unlike basically everything else Marant’s ever designed, I absolutely loathed those trainers. To my mind, they were just plain bad however many very chic women whose style I generally adore thought they were fabulous. Surely they couldn’t all be wrong? Then again, I remain pretty positive I wasn’t either. Which leads me to ask, yet again, when it comes to fashion is there ever such a thing as the right answer?

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion 4 Comments

4 Responses to A Question of Taste

  1. Leroy

    There are some set rules you definitely can’t break (pointy shoes for men, shiny suits) regardless of taste. Aside from that, as long as you put some effort with some non generic pieces in and wear it with confidence then anything can be fashionable

  2. Elodie

    I think Kate Spade can do no wrong and I am all about the maximalism so sue me. I am doing fashion journalism at Saint Martins and there isn’t a day when I feel my personal tastes aren’t what they should be, but you know what? I’m proud that I manage to still be myself in this world. It’d be so easy to just blend in and wear monochrome head to toe and New Balance kicks. It’s a lot harder wearing Kate Spade and J Crew, but you know what I am talking about, right?

    - Elodie x

  3. Natalia

    As Carine once said “fashion allows you to be a person you dream of being”…. So I guess some people dream to wear all those things and have their reasons to do so. If it makes them happy, so be it. Would I ever wear any of them myself? No.

  4. carol

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