September 19, 2014

In the name of fashion

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Last Tuesday was almost entirely spent in the sacred and holy (what?) name of fashion. As you might have seen from my instagram, I decided to drop by Somerset House to sniff up the London Fashion Week atmosphere. Turns out, I'm not quite cut out for it. Here's why:

1. I did not consult the weather report (or rather, I did but it changed drastically by the time I'd come out of the tube...) and spent the entire day sweating in my (although light) coat. Which I couldn't take of because a) it's part of the outfit and b) hello underarm sweat circles!

2. I did not wear fancy designers or at least high street brands. No, I wanted to be "unique" and created an outfit existing almost entirely out of thrifted and vintage pieces, except for my shoes, which were from Nelly (too unknown), bag (Mango, well that's one point for me) 
and my sunglasses (ebay or somewhere on holiday, I can't even remember. Very bad points)

3. My brightest idea of all time: I wore heels the ENTIRE day. I debated on wearing flats (hello Birkenstocks) up until I arrived but decided against it because I would have to bring a bigger bag which lowers the level of street style chic. I am seriously debating never wearing anything else but sneakers and slippers for the rest of my life.

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So as I barely survived half a day of the Fashion Week circus, I have to say I have new found respect for everyone who can cope with 5 days of this madness in London, on top of New York, Paris and even Milan. Other than that, I have found the absolute fakeness of it all rather disturbing. Somerset House is buzzing with people posing, pretending to be on their phones because they're awkward and by themselves (guilty as charged) and trying to get snapped (also guilty) and photographers who will fight each other for the best "street" style pictures  (let's just lose the street element altogether, because who wears these outfits on the actual street to run errands and catch the bus? Can't we just call it Fashion Week style?) You can spot the ones who put together the most overdressed and ridiculous outfit just to get snapped by photographers in the blink of an eye. Is this really the essence of fashion? It seemed like a big theme party instead of celebrating the creativity and thought that some people put into their outfits.

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To be honest, I much preferred the exhibition that I went to see with a friend in the morning of that same day: Horst: Photographer of Style. A large collection of Horst's photographs, from the early 30s up until the 80s, most of them published in Vogue. From stunning b&w photographs where he plays light and shadow so beautifully no amount of photoshop could ever recreate (and my personal favourite part of his collection), to his famous and colourful Vogue covers. Back in the days when Vogue and fashion an sich was still a luxury reserved for the elite of society. I certainly do not want to turn back time (as I would definitely not be part of the lucky few who could afford high fashion in those days) but seeing these completely different views on fashion in one day made me wonder (Carrie Bradshaw will never leave us) about the real meaning of style. Wonderfully created editorials with luxurious dresses? Over the top outfits to be worn just once in a lifetime? Street style in the literal meaning of the word? Is the combination of all of this what has made fashion the way it is today? Let's discuss!

385 Horst-P-Horst

(I was going to talk about the fashion show by MA students at Kingston University that I was invited to as well but this post is long enough as it is already! Maybe another post if you're interested)