We talked last time about style and personality… I’ve been looking for mine (style AND personality) for a long time now.
Well. There have been a few moments slightly more memorable than others:
1/ I am 8 years old and in love with my papa.
Just to have the privilege of spending as much time with him as possible, I become interested in everything he does. I even dress like him.
I’m also the biggest fan, since I was a kid, of George, the heroine from The Famous Five.
My look? Pants and short hair. I am a real tomboy in school and the little model girls (the perfectas of the time) look at me with a raised brow.
2/ I am 13 and in love with Marcel.
Marcel is the most handsome skater in middle school. He has no idea I exist.
Seeing that I don’t think of myself as someone with a personnality, I tell myself that the best thing to get noticed by him is:
a/ Copy his style. Baggy jeans. Baggy t-shirts. Chuck Taylors.
Result: Nothin’. Still has no clue of my existence.
b/ Refine my analysis. I observe that all of Marcel’s skater friends have super feminine girlfriends. I kick myself for being so stupid when I was younger (=2 days earlier). Of course, guys prefer real girls!!!
Shift in strategy. I become super girly.
Result: Nothin’. Still doesn’t know I exist.
I conclude that it isn’t with style that you win male affection. The day I figured that out, I met my first love. No, not Marcel. Marcel, to this day, still doesn’t know I exist.
3/ I am 15 and in love with Rei Kawakubo.
Whom I encounter in The Face, my new bible. Seeing that I have no clothing budget, I go on secret missions into my mother’s wardrobe.
I grab some of her most beautiful outfits (Alaïa? Mugler?) and with the help of a big pair of scissors, I turn them into Comme Des Garçons.
In Ajaccio, where I am living, no one understands my look except for me. Teenage Angst and despair. No one understands me ! And my mother even less, who flat out fainted the day she discovered my wrongdoings. Outraged by her lack of creativity, I bark at her that one day, Rei Kawakubo will adopt me and that way, everybody will be happy.
4/ I am 17 and in love with my best friend.
Our style? Agnès B skinny jeans, big sweater, Doc Martens. Always the same, always matching, every day, all the time. Our dresser? Shared. Our friends? Shared. Our favorite movies? shared (Rocky Horror Picture Show). Our personality? Wait, what did you say ? Our what?
5/ I am 21 years old and in love with Björk.
My look: Hiking shoes like Björk, mini-skirt like Björk, hair in a multi-bun like Björk, and military parka because not like Björk : I didn’t have the budget to shop at Hussein Chalayan.
One day, on a whim, just to see what it would be like, I shaved my head. Because I’m soooo woooooh! Rrrrrrrsgsgsg (guttural noises like Björk)!!! Crazy! Like
6/ I am 24 and in love with a rocker.
Skinny jeans (you can’t find them back then, takes forever in vintage shops, but, hey, between two rock concerts, I have aaaaaaall the time in the world) pointy ballet flats (you can’t find them back then, takes forever in vintage shops, but, hey, between two rock concerts, I have aaaaaaall the time in the world) vintage fur (So easy to find, pfffff, annoying), cigarette in one hand, beer in the other, backstage pass around my neck.
A few years later, I realize I don’t like beer and you can see the concert better if you’re in the audience. It’s not like the venue is packed, anyway…
7/ I am 26 and in love with Zara.
Went well with my budget as a newbie to the workforce. In the span of a couple months, my wardrobe consists of 80% Zara. Zara becomes my religion, and just like mass, I make sure to go once a week and soon I have no idea how I ever got dressed in the morning before Zara.
Result: Same look as all my friends. No wait… Same look as my entire city ! No. Same look as all of France!!! No, same look as the entire world!
8/ I am 27 and I am broke.
I quit my job to work as a freelance illustrator. Bohemian life here we come! Even H&M is considered luxury, it’s the rock bottom of shopping. It’s the fashion juice cleanse. The only thing I can’t stop buying is magazines. Ahhh ! Land of dreams !
9/ I am 30, I am an illustrator and I have a blog!!!
Fashion blogs were born in France at the same time fashion mass market explodes. Zara, TopShop, H&M, it’s also the start of collaborations with designers (The War For a Jacket by Karl Lagerfeeeeeeld!!!!)… We are all overshopping.
And I am starting to make a living on my illustrations, and so after the fashion juice cleanse, it’s a total relapse: Instead of staying calm and buying just a few good pieces, I ruin myself with “good fashion deals” and stupid private sales.
It’s the worst period for me in terms of style. I am not dressing for me. Not even for a guy or my best friend but just to try to be fashionable.
Like for example, when Phoebe Philo was with Chloé. You remember those baby doll dresses? Can you imagine me in a pseudo Chloé baby doll dress? No? Me neither.
But I did it. Really guys, it was the dark ages.
10/ I Don’t Have Enough Perspective To Comment On The Years That Follow But:
My style found its footing again and went back to fundamentals: man’s closet and short skirts, among some others. I still have moments where I panic and suddenly try to become as sexy-cool as Emmanuelle Alt or as sexy-chic as Carine Roitfeld but moments like those usually don’t last a long time.
I’ve come to realize that no matter what I do, I can’t help but be me.
I still have a lot of things to learn in terms of evening dressing. Sometimes I panic when the runway shows come about. Stupid purchases, losing my head at the last minute, hysterical behavior right before heading out the door, and sometimes, a completely stupid outfit that gives me the desire to just die right then and there, as I always realize just how horrible the look is after it’s way too late to change it.
But I’m sure we’ve all been there.
Even Carine Roitfeld.
We forget quickly. What we remember are the moments when people look the most beautiful and feel most at home in their own skin. That’s what sticks with us, what we hold dear and what is most important, don’t you think?
Translation : Tim Sullivan