Archive | August, 2013

Fashion: What does it mean to you?

6 Aug
 
In the eloquent words of Coco Chanel, “I don’t do fashion. I am fashion.” The power and importance placed upon the style industry, in today’s world, has subsequently sparked debate concerning the superficiality of fashion and its purpose within everyday life. With bountiful designs on the catwalk starting to be recognised as aesthetically pleasing pieces of ‘art’ – is it that clothes merely act as a materialistic surface or does the embodiment of style and trends reflect a connection with the deeper, inner self?
Characterised as the conscious arrangement of colours, shapes and movements in a manner that affects our sense of beauty, ‘art’ has naturally extended its scope to the sensational and innovative world of fashion. Through the fabrication of fascinating, evocative and avant-garde garments, designers strive to create beautifulness and magnificence; with the ultimate goal of producing a positive and up-lifting impact on the world we live in.

As a creation of beauty, it would be foolish to believe that fashion is not significantly established on a surface level – yet surely an emotional connection exists, as well?

Think about the spring in your step when parading a new pair of fabulous heels, or the excitement in the pit of your stomach when you catch sight of an incredible dress in a shop window! The power of fashion is how it makes us feel; it stands as a beacon of hope and inspiration for the conception we have of ourselves or the image we want to have. As Ralph Lauren expresses, “I don’t design clothes. I design dreams.” Without a doubt, the style industry is a world of imaginings and fantasy; one which has the capability to recreate new atmospheres and, so, manipulate our perception of the world and how the world sees us.

The notion of clothing as a means of communication with the outside world has meant that fashion has developed into a crucial part of self-realisation. For that reason, the way in which we choose to dress, directly functions as an extension of our personality. As individuals, we are proudly saying ‘this is who I am – this is my culture- this is my profession’, through the symbolic nature of fashion. Ultimately, the style world enables a person to break the barriers of conformism and, alternatively, connect with something that resonates within them. Fashion, unquestionably, is an expression of identity.

Even those who have little interest in fashion, what you choose to wear – unconsciously or otherwise – gives the people around you a sneaky peak into your personality and frame of mind. It’s true, how many times do we snuggle into a sweatshirt when we’re feeling relaxed and laidback?

It’s not about people being a slave to fashion; it’s the way in which fashion serves people. Miuccia Prada wisely reflects,“Fashion is an incredible instrument, because it’s an instant way of saying and seeing things. People on other fields envy the speed of fashion and its ability to capture things, and even if it’s superficial, it’s still telling you something.” It seems that the style industry will always amaze and inspire us through its glamour and sparkle, but only because it connects with the people they design for. In the face of fashion, identity is everything.

Do you agree?
~x~
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What I Wore: Wedding Guest

2 Aug

“I do.”

wedding

Every wedding I’ve ever been to, I’ve been a bridesmaid. Gorgeous outfits which are carefully handpicked for me, tailored to my body and perfect-for-purpose. There’s no decision-making involved, the bride tells you what to wear; you wear it, and if people don’t like the dress, who cares? – blame the bride. A bridesmaid’s dress is less of an outfit; more of an accessory to the overall wedding theme.

The bride picked it; she’s happy. It’s not my style choice that’s up for analysis and scrutiny, It’s hers, I can take a back seat; I’m happy. I can rest assured that yes, another girl will indefinitely turn up in the same outfit (i.e. the other bridesmaid), but if anybody dares to be stupid enough to wear a bridesmaid’s dress as a guest then they’ll look the fool, followed by the bride, but I won’t.

So, being a bridesmaid is great, you’re a central part of the wedding unit, without having to do any speeches or saying any of the  ‘I do’s’.

wedding dresses

The next wedding I was invited to, however, I would be a guest. Exciting stuff but scary stuff. I was left to my own devices. No one is there to pick out an outfit for me, it’s just you and you alone battling the shops one by one as you find a suitable outfit for a summer’s wedding.

I did not think it would be this hard.

After extensively searching for a suitable dress I have come to the conclusion that most brands manufacture their dresses into certain categories. The ‘going out dress’ – looks like you’re dressed for a boozy night clubbin’, ‘the day-time dress’ – not special enough, looks like you’ve not made an effort, ‘the work dress’ – boring, unsuitable and again, not made any effort, and then the ‘older woman dress’ –  suitable for the event but not suitable for your age; makes you look 20 years older in a flash. So, if you’re not a bridesmaid what the feck are you meant to wear that looks suitable, special (without over-shadowing the bride) and still ‘you’?*

It’s tricky, very tricky.

I looked for a nice dress for weeks and weeks but nothing seemed to hit the mark. There are nice dresses out there don’t get me wrong but it shouldn’t have to be this darn difficult! I had to up my budget if I was to have any chance of getting a good’un.

Now, I won’t bore you too much longer. So, here is the dress I wore:

ff

frockandfrill

£125 by Frock and Frill.

I got this Frock and Frill dress from ASOS and I fell in love with it as soon as the package popped through my door. It is an expensive dress but it’s worth every penny. It’s not expensive because it’s got an over-priced designer’s name on  the label; it’s expensive because of the material, the detail, and the level of craftsmanship that has gone into hand-making this gorgeous piece. It’s special, it’s still young and still ‘me’, it’s not something I would wear downing shots up town, and I wouldn’t wear it to the office or on a day-trip out to sunny hunny; it’s the perfect item for a wedding.

The great thing about this outfit is that it literally does all the work for you. You needn’t splurge out on big, statement, eye-catching accessories, it would look way over-powering, would take the effect away from the dress and would actually make the item look cheaper/not as special. Less is definitely more.  I wore a simple pair of nude sandals (Dorothy Perkins: Were £45, got them for £13.50 in the sale), a plain silver clutch (Accessorize: Was £20, got it for £10 in the sale), some plain diamond stud earrings (New Look: Were £7, got them for £3 in the sale), and a flower clip in my hair (My sister’s: Free). I painted my nails a nude colour, and did my own St Tropez tan at home. Not only did I get some crackin’ bargains (Just because it’s a wedding doesn’t mean everything you buy has to be expensive/designer!**) but I learnt a lesson. Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and buy an out-of-budget dress. I know I’ll wear this dress to a wedding again, I cut back on accessories due to my bargain eye and because it didn’t need a lot nor anything too special, so it didn’t matter too much what I went with. Everybody commented on how nice the dress looked, and I knew nobody would turn up wearing it. You often find copious amounts of wedding guests in ‘Coast’ or ‘Monsoon’ and such like, but with this dress, you stand out from the crowd.

 I didn’t feel uncomfortable either. A lot of dresses are so tight that every move is a challenge. Dropped your lipstick? Tough luck, you can forget about bending down to retrieve it, the dress simply will not let you. It is for this reason I avoided a tight dress, I was going to be in it from 12 until 12 and I could do with breathing in that time. This dress lets you all hang out without feeling self-conscious, its loose fitting means you’ll get no belly showing in the photos and you can dance the night away without being confined to just doing the robot move for every single song. It also means the style and sizing will suit most body shapes. The art deco inspiration makes it bang on-trend and the sparkles make you shine from every angle. I might be going a bit over the top now hey?, it is, still, just a dress, I know. But it’s a nice one, alright!?

This piece is not an advertorial. I wasn’t asked to write this post and I most certainly didn’t get paid for it (sigh), it’s just honest. Frock and Frill have some gorgeous individual items that you won’t find anywhere else. You are guaranteed to look gorgeous in it, the dress does all the work for you and you’ll completely hit the nail on the head when it comes to the do’s and don’ts for wedding guest’s dresses.

* Good Lord! Being a woman is so tough. So much easier for men! – Men+Wedding=Suit. Done. No questions asked, no thought given. Dust the suit off, pop any old shirt on, affix a tie and put feet into some black shoes, sorted, now where’s the church?

** Equally, if you do happen to find a dress that is perfect for the occasion and is cheap as chips, go for it, then inform me about it ;-)

Dedicated to Mr and Mrs Fairchild.

~x~