Fashion Week Beyond the Fads
It’s that time of year again, when the chic elite stomp the pavements like a catwalk and, for the first time in months, the weather is not permitted to dictate one’s outfit: it’s London Fashion Week. Like any magazine writer worth their salt, I consider it an obligation to comment. But my fashion-conscious musings for the week don’t focus inside the hallowed halls of sequined glamour; I would rather give a shout-out to clothes that can make me feel my most fabulous. So here is a sartorial short-list of my own devising:
- Graduation Gowns:
To me, this is the most special a single item of clothing can make you feel. A graduation gown, whilst matching you with a uniform sea of similarly smart folk, is a symbol of personal success; you have earned this. It comes complete with a sense of immense self-worth, and unrivalled swoosh ability. One cannot name a garment that balances erudite excellence with a silly hood and wizard sleeves quite like a graduation gown. Wear yours with pride.
- Dressing Gowns:
Despite sharing a noun, these gowns could not be further from those mentioned above. Instead, a dressing gown exudes a feeling of being at home. You may have a penchant for the classic white terrycloth, perhaps you find yourself squeezed into a brightly coloured number from years gone by, or, like me, you may look like Hagrid. Whatever your style, you’ll be warm, comfortable and wrapped in a fluffy force-field of protection from the outside world.
(n.b. Similar odes can be written to onesies, but dressing gowns save you from the inevitable toilet-going exposure that comes fait accompli with dressing like an overgrown baby.)
- Mermaid Blankets:
Similar to the dressing gown, a blanket has magic healing capabilities. But, in order to qualify for this list, one must “wear” the item. Enter the creative invention of the century: the mermaid tail blanket. The frivolous fun of wearing a mermaid’s tale helps to save one from inevitably feeling senile, elderly and like chilly knees might just bring about your end. You’ll look fabulous and also have an excellent excuse not to get out of your seat
- Fancy Dress costumes:
Now this is a controversial one, because an invitation that comes with a theme splits responses like Marmite. I, for one, relish the opportunity to unleash my creativity and to explore the infinite possibilities of a pair of tights and a cardboard box. I firmly believe that fancy dress encourages conversation, both before and during the event itself- sometimes, even for years after. So leave self-consciousness at the door, dive into the silliness and be sure to navigate corridors wide enough for your added costume width!
- Doc Martens:
They’re comfortable, durable and, by not quite matching with anything, they go with everything. I waited until my feet stopped growing and steadily invested in six pairs. (Once you go doc, you never go back!) Going out: sorted. Going hiking: well-prepared. Transcending decades of fashion with ease: job done.
A term that speaks volumes: ‘career-wear’ signals to the world ‘I am an adult’, ‘I am successful’ and ‘I know the official M&S phrase for “posh work clothes”’. There is certainly something empowering about putting on the clothes that represent you as your very best self. Of course, I’m not advocating ill-fitting suits that make one look and feel uncomfortable. I’m talking patterned shirts and clip-clop shoes, revealing hints of personality and refusing to let the system get you down.
If in doubt, there is no such thing as ‘too much black’. A flattering friend to goths, lumps and bumps, and to those of us trying to balance out an outrageously coloured pair of shoes. A black ensemble allows one to balance textures in an alluring yet discrete way. Most recently, all-black took centre stage at the Golden Globes, signifying the impending funeral of gender inequality. I love a statement that looks good on everyone!
- Whatever the hell feels comfortable:
And to complete my short-list in an ironically all-encompassing manner, I am a keen advocate for wearing whatever you fancy. Sometimes I’m keen to mix things up, show off something new or unveil an old favourite that hasn’t had an outing for years. Other times, I want to wear the same stretchy, kneed jeans until they form a patchwork of stains under the close inspection of the sniff test. But those stains are a tapestry of my life as shared with those jeans. They may be ‘so last year’, but damnit they’re comfy.