Well Hi! Me again introducing todays amazing guest blogger. I’m really fascinated by the topic of todays post, and its something I’ve thought about myself in the past but never put into words. The difference between those fleeting fashion crushes where OMG I WANT TO DRESS LIKE X TODAY, and that long term style that’s somehow ingrained in your DNA. Chloe from the Vintage Notebook has put those thoughts into some lovely words for you to read.
Much like crushes, style influences come in two forms.
Those that are formed early in our romantical or fashion awakening and those that are fleeting and barely have the shelf life of a bag spinach (seriously, like a day and half?); flower corsages, Juicy Couture, Orlando Bloom. Taking too much notice of your fleeting style influences can be an expensive pastime and may ultimately leave you and your wardrobe looking a bit tired and faddy, like turning up to a party populated purely by your Myspace friends of ten years ago. Having said that the odd assignation with a faddy influence can pep things up and be fun.
After many years of dressing myself like a big girl I have learned to identify the fair weather influences in my life from the bone fide solid as a rock pay your bail money influences. It is worth figuring this stuff out, it stops you buying things just because there is a shop that happens to sells them and basically frees up your mind from silently screaming into the void ‘WHO THE HELL AM I ANYWAY?’ as you lie awake at night and contemplate litanies of piebald pony skin jackets and iridescent polyester hotpants. All in all, it’s kind of useful. So, I have complied this list of some of my ‘till death us do part’ influences and my current crushes.
Till Death do Us Part
In fact folk crafts generally. I always loved my mum’s Russian doll which nested in the living room of my childhood home and is now part of my own burgeoning collection. I try to buy a Russian doll from every country I visit, and even though there are always a gazillion interpretations on the traditional paintwork, the original red and green variety remains my favourite. When I say that Russian dolls are a style influence, I don’t mean I want to eat a baby and wear a handkerchief headscarf, but I do have an impressive collection of dark florals, primary coloured patterns and folk inspired items that see me through long bleak pastel hued summers (a troubling time of year for a grown up goth).
Vanessa Paradis circa 2004
Vanessa Paradis always looks amazing because she has cheekbones you could cut fromage with and happens to be French so has a preternatural sense of what is chic. I know this because magazines keep telling me so.
2004 was the high watermark of Paradis style. Always fond of a 20s aesthetic, at the Finding Neverland Premier and the Critics’ Choice awards the same year she knocked it out of the park by pulling off two ‘I just spent a wild night amongst a pile of piano shawls with Henry Miller’ looks without it becoming costumey. The fact that she was on the red carpet looking so unique and in the process making everyone else’s sparkly dresses look so boring whilst having the most beautiful man in the world hanging from her tasselled arm made it all the more powerful to me. Lesson learnt – always go the other way.
Self-explanatory. I mean who didn’t idolise Morticia Addams in their formative years?
I was about fourteen when I started reading about the lives of the pre-Raphaelite artists. Their bohemian ideals appealed to me as did the long hair and uncorsetted flowing gowns their Arthurian maidens and sea nymphs. On days when I watch too much Miss Fisher I have to remind myself not to bob my hair again because I want just once in my life to hair like Lizzie Siddal.
While the 90s revival may still be in full swing in Topshop and a novelty to some younger folk, the 90s were very real to me and the riot grrrl/ grunge look of lacy baby dolls, battered boots and cardis was my go to look as a teenager and still remains a pillar of my day to day ascetic. Which means horror of horrors, I may actually be fashionable by default!
Sharon Morris, Catastrophe
I watched Catastrophe, which I had written off as a boring sitcom in the realm of Outnumbered, because my friend Mel told me that, and I quote – it was the funniest programme she had ever seen. It is indeed very funny, but what left a bigger impression on me was Sharon Horgan’s characters wardrobe. It is the wardrobe of a stroppy punk raver who was forced to grow up and live in North London and now has the budget to shop at Whistles and Reiss, but does so with a sarcastic disdain. Blocks of primary colours and clashing prints are mixed up with leather skirts and pinafore dresses. It is the sole reason that there is currently a yellow silk shirt on my shopping wish list.
Ulyana Sergeenko is the Russian socialite who became so tired of designers taking credit for the pieces she commissioned that she started a design house of her own. She takes nods from the culture of her native country, opting to wear sheer aprons over gowns and peasant headscarves with Dior New Look skirts and bias cut 30s silk dresses. I have no idea how she pulls it off but while in America a few months ago I bought a bright red chiffon apron in a vintage store to see if I could emulate her trademark look – news just in – I can’t.
What are your current fashion crushes, or your long term style loves?