Friday, 24 June 2011
Friend Friday: What do you mean? I always dress like this....
I've recreated this outfit I wore to the cinema for Mrs Bossa whose hilarious post about strange style influences struck a chord. I was going to see The Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. My style influence for the night was Captain Jack Sparrow. Well you would, wouldn't you? And I'm totally convinced that to get his style inspiration for Sparrow's persona and wardrobe Johnny Depp studied another of my style icons, Adam Ant. Nothing like a bit of tongue and cheek pirate chic after a week of sharp suits, savvy?
And on that note, this week's Friend's Friday topic is exploring whether being a fashion blogger has changed your attitude to fashion, shopping and dressing. Which came first the chicken or the egg? Does being a fashion blogger feed into your style or is it your personal style that feeds your fashion blog? Well in my case I don't think I would have started this blog if I hadn't already been fashion crazy and a bit of a wacky dresser by most people's standards.
1. Since you began blogging do you notice a change in the types of things you gravitate towards while shopping?
Not really. I was always into shopping for clothes and dressing up. I've always been one of those who buys the latest fashion magazines to see which trends are coming in, work out which ones I love and find out where I can buy the clothes to work them. I love stopping by my favourite shops on my way home from work just to see if new stock has been delivered and I spend far too much time "window shopping" online.
I started the blog more to kick start my love of dressing up again as I had gone through a period where I had stopped making the effort so much and I was collecting clothes faster than I could wear them. The blog was a kind of challenge to myself to actually wear them. My taste in clothes has changed with age more than anything else.
I will say that following other bloggers whose style I admire has prompted me to go shopping for items I have either liked in an outfit shot or because the blogger has given a good shopping tip about a product.
2. Do you find, as a fashion blogger, that you dress differently from your family and friends? Do they comment on that?
I have always dressed differently from my family and friends, even before the blog, nay, make that the Internet, was invented! I've just always been into clothes and I like dramatic dressing more so than most of the people in my life. People comment on how I dress a lot and this predates the blog. I find if I make the effort I almost always get a comment, even from strangers. But I also get given plenty of strange looks as well!
At high school people thought I was pretty OTT. I started reading Vogues at thirteen and trying to find or sew garments that emulated the looks. I have always loved period costume and often dabbled in recreating period looks with modern clothing, something I still love doing today. At university I would swan around the campus all dressed up with nowhere but a lecture theatre to go to. So much so that the one day I wore jeans and a sweater a friend of mine didn't recognise me!
For my 21st birthday I dressed up like a musketeer complete with plumed hat and some of the things I've worn to balls include an iridescent velvet cape I got from Camden market, a Beville Sassoon Renaissance style gown sewn by my mother and a Venetian mask from Venice. I'm the sort that swans around a summer music festival in a vintage top hat and a vintage Victorian jacket.
While studying at Cambridge I took every opportunity to dress up for all those black tie events that are a frequent part of the student calender year. I was able to attend a black tie event every week if I wanted to and so I quite often did. Then there were summer balls and garden parties too. My college friends used to quip that I had a full costume wardrobe in my room as I had a box stuffed with feather boas, glittery jewellery and long gloves as well as a hatstand full of hats, both of which I regularly raided for these occasions. In many ways my dressing has toned down dramatically since those idyllic student days.
My sister and I have always had similar tastes in clothing up to a point. We both have the same definition of what constitutes cute, love a pretty dress and beautiful prints but she would draw the line at wearing pirate boots, harem trousers or leather dresses and trousers. While she retorts in disgust at Carrie Fischer's more outlandish outfits from Sex and the City I'm busy researching suppliers. When I first arrive in Australia visiting from London she will let curiosity get the better of her and pull out the more edgy garments from my suitcase going "what's this strange thing?" but equally will coo over something she finds which she loves. And she and my mother are always scandalised by the height of my heels!
3. What’s the weirdest fashion that you secretly like, even if you aren’t bold enough to wear it?
I think I like some pretty weird things that I wear already! If I like it then I am almost always game to try it. Double leopard? Leopard with polka print? Leopard print with tweed? If Dolce and Gabbana put it down the catwalk I'm there! I mean leather motorcycle trousers for someone who doesn't ride a motorbike regularly are pretty out there if you think about it.
4. Looking at current trends – what would you like to try but need to build up the courage to do?
I don't really work like that. If I like I trend and I have the money and time to shop for pieces then I'll try it. If I don't like a trend I won't bother. What I need to build up the courage to do is wear more of the fabulous things I own more often even if I know I'm going to stick out like a sore (but well dressed) thumb!
5. Toot someone’s horn – what fashion blogger out there inspires you with her bold fashion choices?
Oh so many yet so little time! The lovely ladies who dress up to the nines in vintage even if they are popping to get the milk or hang up the washing are a constant inspiration. If you haven't discovered them already meet the amazing Desiree from Pull Your Socks Up and Vintage Vix whose mantra that "a day without dressing up is a day wasted" I now chant to myself when choosing something to wear.
I also follow two inspirational stylish mothers of young children, I'm Not Emily Brown and No Guilt Fashion, both of whom refuse to let motherhood get in the way of their commitment to personal style, even rocking trendy looks like leather shorts ten weeks after giving birth and denim shorts while pregnant. Oh and not to mention how they manage to work and juggle blogging as well. Ladies I salute you!
And I must pay homage to the inspirational goddesses of bright colour Franca, of Oranges and Apples, and the lovely Dusk, both who boldly go daily on the colour spectrum where I fear to tread. Ladies you might just get me wearing hot pink.