On a trip to Melbourne earlier this year I was grotesquely fascinated by their local versions of the FASHION CLONE. For girls this entailed a black and white gingham shirt, leggings, generically crazy glasses, and platinum hair. Failing that, a plaid dress with leggings. Boys were clearly instructed to please dress like Johnny Depp, down to the scuffs on your boots. While both these aesthetics were quite endearing – not everyone needed to embrace it! I actually got confused at whether I had encountered people before or not… How embarrassing.
Alas, mass homogeneous style is rife throughout the entire world. The recent book Paris—New York—Shanghai by Hans Eijkelboom has aptly highlighted this. The photographic spreads are incredible to look at!
This same-same disease isn’t just limited to the unfashionable denizens of these great cities either.As Refinery 27 points out (er, in a more loving tone) it’s rife!
How doers it happen? Well, it’s easy to fit the mould and follow each and every seasonal trend. When shops roll out new shiny things each week, the choices are made for you and it’s natural to want to stay up with the play. Magazines are telling you what you need, you see someone you admire wearing XXX brand and XXX cut and it all becomes a bit seductive.
My brother managed one store of a national fashion chain. Every week a truck load of boxes would arrive and within – a fully tagged collection, with a look book to put out on the racks. No creative input nay, thought, was required of the staff. Every other store (one was located in almost every major town of New Zealand) received a similar cargo of fashion dictation. Rinse and repeat for many stores.
No wonder it’s difficult to go shopping and find something that’s distinctive. However, as well all know deep down in the bottom of our purses, amongst the recipets, change and bus tickets – the rewards are worth it!
As Sophie Eggleton says on Amelia’s Blog – “It’s a great feeling going to a social event without the fear of being faced with someone in the same outfit (even worse when they look infinitely better). I think more and more fashion fans are cottoning on to the fact its good to be unique and being able to answer the question ‘where did you get your … from?’ with the comforting knowledge they won’t be able to go and buy one themselves.”
Brilliant – not only is it comforting – it’s comfortable! How fantastic it is not be trussed if you’re not the sort who enjoys it. It sounds rather granola, but taking it slow and being true to yourself works not just for relationships but style. And once you’re there you can look at the fashion clones (“the hordes, nooo, they’re coming to get me!”) and find amusement.
So… How do you break free from the fashion shackles? Where do you look for fresh new ideas? How do you embrace personal style? I’m curious to hear how you answer these questions! ❤
I have a million ideas and sources and images whirling around my head, along with some advice, but I feel it’s for another post… so over to the admirably fierce Beth Ditto: