Step up the game, pull out all the stops, up the ante – these are expressions we have heard many times over. Often they are with reference to styling in fashion or preparing for an event of this kind. In this case more specifically it is in relation to getting dressed UP for Fashion Week. If you’ve followed the street style of major cities like Milan and London during such events, you’d notice an explosion of colours and a concoction of looks elaborately put together but that seem so effortless at the same time. Or at least with that not-trying-too-hard essence.
Soon enough it will be Fashion Week in Malta so all the pretty pieces will come out to play. The idea is not to look as though you’ve spent hours in front of the wardrobe deciphering your next sartorial move but to say with some panache, ‘this old thing? It’s the first thing I grabbed 20 minutes ago’. Easy, right? Well, not so in reality. There is often some strategic idea behind a curated look, which is why we say we make a statement with how and what we wear. There is nothing wrong with this, mind you. It’s the remit of styling after all too. So how to tow the line between forcing it and looking effortless? That is where we have to consider the function of fashion: is it personal style, fashion statement, or the wish to be ‘trendy’? By the way I really have grown antagonistic to the last word because it has been bandied about (often carelessly) in this context. Talk about the bête noir of fashion – but that’s just semantics. Back to our question, and how I am thinking of this point when I choose my outfits for the many events that lie ahead (rubbing hands in joyful anticipation). I would like to think that it’s a blend of the three, that is, finding one’s style (with some trial and lots of error), following fashion (though not blindly for this would be failed mimicry), and wearing certain trends (to befit one’s style after all). So here’s what I’m considering and why.
As I might have said in an earlier post, my lifestyle has often directed me to make certain choices in the fashion department that would be considered ‘safe’, ‘conservative’, and the opposite of ‘risqué’. For a while I felt that was ‘me’ like when we say, you do ‘you’ and I do ‘me’. It also allowed me to hold on to certain items that were more on the classic side and not too dated, as well as stocking up on pieces that are appropriate for my job and all. That’s for the advantages. When it comes to getting adorned for an event, however, I feel like breaking out of this mould and I ask myself, is it because I feel obliged to or because I want to? I think it’s a bit of both although I’d much rather believe the second is truer to the cause. So I asked myself again, what’s it going to be this year? Same like last year (not too ‘safe’ but neither ‘risqué’) or something different? Would I look like I’ve thought too much about it, or that it would look like it’s not me?
This is also the impulse behind this post, which is not to justify myself but to reflect on and present the conundrum that I face. Speak of #firstworldproblems! And I’m among those to critique this hashtag. Most people would tell me it’s a waste of time and energy to bother over such ‘trifles’ but then they do not appreciate the allure of fashion as art. Over the last few years, fashion has been a welcome diversion (initially), until it became a more thoughtful passion. Blame it on this blog and the world it opened up (say I with lightheartedness). Which is why I love this world, not only because it has encouraged me to think beyond clothes as lifeless pieces of utility, but also because it has made me appreciate how a look that is well-put together works wonders for many reasons.
So this year, I’m going to push some self-made boundaries. I’d like to make choices that are more daring, playful, and interesting. Because at the end of the day, if fashion cannot be fun and playful, then what is? If it’s a form of expression and a moment of escapism from the problems life throws our way, then so be it. Will I pull out all the stops? Well, not too many at once of course. I’ve identified what ‘style’ is me but that doesn’t mean I should stop experimenting or looking, if only to have a go with many looks out there that inspire me.
So, I’ve decided: I wanna have more fun!
Meanwhile, here’s a quick look at some pieces that popped last year during one of the events! Though they may be too bold for me, sometimes in fashion we need people who boldly go where not many dare!