Top: Gold Anchor Studs - A gift from my sister, Leopard Print Cardigan - Charity ShopBottom: Silver Star Studs - An emo shop, White Shirt - American Apparel
Thursday, 12 July 2012
Today in H&M, wedged amongst the many, many rails of sale clothes, I got to thinking about throw-away high street fashion.
It's no secret that clothes purchased on the high street lose the majority of their value as soon as they're bought by the customer. It seems like a good idea at the time, in the seductive atmosphere of the shop, because you feel like you really want a peplum top or some harem pants. But a few weeks down the line when everyone hates peplums and harems, you're just left with some over priced garments that are now worth nothing and you won't wear again, ever. The bottom line is...we are obsessed with high street trends that change from month to month, rendering the purchases of months past as worthless.
This is bad for several reasons. Firstly, it's just pure wasteful. Secondly, our drive to have the latest 'on trend' item is turning us in to slaves, literally consuming whatever fad is thrown at us. Thirdly, as well as making us slaves, it's transforming us in to the spitting image of each other, which is dull, to say the least. Finally, it's fuelling cheap foreign labour and has already completely obliterated the British sewing/textile trades.
So to save you from having to fall in to this horrible high street fashion trap, I have concocted some tips, so you won't have to be a slave to the shopping centre ever again (p.s. peplum tops aren't a good idea, even if everyone says they are).
1) DON'T GET SEDUCED
Avoid items that you're unsure about, but you talk yourself in to buying because they're of the moment.
2) DEVELOP YOUR OWN STYLE
Get to know your own style and tastes. Understand what suits you, and develop it. It may involve making some crappy fashion faux pas, (which may well end up being amazing) but that's part of it. This way you'll know which trends to pursue and which to ignore.
3) INVEST, DON'T JUST BUY
If you're in to fashion, it's fun to observe what designers are doing and watch how trends develop across the seasons, but the high streets take on these changes is fickle and cheap, so if you really like a trend, invest in an item that will stand the test of time, not necessarily an expensive item, but one that could be interpreted in different ways. To elaborate, take the trend of Navajo (which seems to be going on forever?!) as example. Instead of buying an all over Navajo print dress which is pretty great now, but won't be in a year or two, buy a vest, shorts or accessory featuring Navajo embellishments that will be transformed in to a brand new look when this stubborn trend is finally put to bed.
4) CONSIDER WHICH BRANDS YOU BUY FROM
As an avid Ebayer (both seller and buyer) I have noticed certain brands always do well on Ebay. Two that instantly come to mind are Topshop and Urban Outfitters. In my experience, you can often make a profit on items from these brands if you sell them even second hand on Ebay. So, if you're in to Ebay, it would make sense to consider how sell-able an item will be when you buy it.
5) SIT BACK AND WAIT IT OUT
To be honest, most of these trends come and go so quickly that just turning a blind eye for a bit, when you're really broke, or can't be bothered with all the fussing, could be the solution. Another trend that you'll want to buy in to will be just around the corner anyway.
6) SWEET CHARITY
Charity shops are literally one of the best ideas ever, I think. They provide a place to unload your old high street mistakes and they supply people like me with a weird and wonderful selection of oddities and stuff. If in doubt, just visit a charity shop and find a few cheapo bits to refresh the items you already have. Thus giving money to charity, not fuelling this crazed high street consumer mess, and not spending as much cash.
7) BUY VINTAGE
Generally, clothes from 20 plus years ago are much better made and have stood the test of time. They are also extremely coveted by many. Therefore buying vintage can be seen as an investment. It's like that thing they say about cars and houses. Buying a car sucks your money, because it costs to keep it and it loses money with age. Buying a house is a financial asset, and it maintains/increases it's value over time.
Keep your vintage well, and you could end up making a profit from it when it's day with you is done.
Lastly, and to emphasise the importance of having your own sense of style...
Being inspired and influenced by high street/catwalk/street trends is good, but don't be a fashion puppet. I think it's important to develop your tastes and follow your instincts, without taking it all too seriously. Fashion is, after all, temporary. The beauty of it is it's ever evolving and shifting nature. So be an observer, not a slave. Having a strong sense of personal style is the key.
Tuesday, 10 July 2012
Today I will mostly be lusting after these sunglasses by 'Bless'. They are just a real dream come true. I first discovered them in graphic design journal eye (December 2007/January 2008) and have been searching for something that resembles them since. The fact they can no longer be acquired only adds to my lusting.
Tuesday, 3 July 2012
Monday, 2 July 2012
Sofia Coppola's 'Marie Antoinette' is one of my favourite films of all time. It has been criticised (mainly by boys) for being one dimensional with a plot that lacks substance. I strongly disagree. Yes, there's a high focus on visual detail and overall aesthetic, but it's based on historical events and I believe Coppola tells the story beautifully.
The new romantic movement is regulary referenced throughout the film, in the soundtrack (Bow Wow Wow, Adam and the Ants, Siouxsie and the Banshees) and in the costumes. The character of Count Fersen (Marie's lover) wears a costume based on the attire of post-punk hero Adam Ant. Elsewhere, the costumes have an essence of 18th century, but the colours, fabrics and styling brings them to the 21st century
It's a complete feast for the ears and eyes. Coppola selected a beautiful sherbet pastel palette instead of the Burgundy, Navy and deep Green hues conventionally associated with the 18th century, as reinforced by faded paintings and costume dramas. The aim was to 'remove the crustation of sepia' and bring Marie's world to a modern audience. The result is an eccentric, bohemian wonderland. Marie, too, is likeable and very easy to relate to. A world apart from the idle 'let them eat cake' stereotype.
So, on that note, here are some beautiful things i've found to transform your world (and your wardrobe) in to the floral, feminine, acid pastel baroque vision of the film, harnessing youth punk rebellion and new romantic charm...
1) Dr. Martens Pink Monochrome 1460 Boots (Dr. Martens, £74.00)
2) Secret Heart Flowering Tea (Canton Tea Co, £7.00)
Tea that comes in a bud and then explodes in to a flower when put in hot water! WOW!
3) Vivienne Westwood Beige Chancery Mini Yasmin Bag (Urban Outfitters, £232.00)
Cute and amazing,,,
4) Stila Custom Colour Adjust Self Adjusting Pink Blusher (Stila, £13.00)
This incredible blusher adjusts to the PH balance of your skin to create a customised shade, and it's the perfect bubblegum pink to give vibrant colour
5) Vintage Tulle Skirt by Rouge Pony (Rouge Pony at Etsy, £22.00)
Beautiful, wear with a cropped pastel t-shirt and pale pink hair
6) Loulou Loves You Claire Flower Headband (Loulou Loves You, £30.00)
The best! creator Lou Lou Androlia has made some incredible head pieces and lingerie, follow the link above, and more on her soon...
7) Vintage China (Sara Evans at Pavlova and Fox, Etsy)
Dreamy china to accompany the flower tea. Sara Evans' Etsy shop is filled with vintage china and antiques...
8) TOMOTOMO Magazine (www.shinbiyo.com/tomotomo)
Learn about big hair here!
9) Jonathan Saunders Bright Paisley Short Sleeve Tee (Urban Outfitters, £80.00)
Jonathan Saunders doing acid pastel baroque...
10) Fantasy White Hair Dye (hairlights4u at EBay, £6.99)
Do a Marie and do your hair white...
Images from the film property of http://versailles.org.uk/marie_antoinette/the_film/ and www.galadarling.com)