As the international fashion weeks continue their madness I thought it only right to do a post on what is apparently one of my favourite topics.
If you ever visit the current cult favourite that is Brandy Melville you're likely to run into an army of teenagers, bored boyfriends (their boredom only slightly alleviated by the surrounding eye candy) and me.
It's a little bit embarrassing how often I'm in this shop. Not only is it frequented by people actually young enough to be my children but they also have a ridiculously discriminatory sizing system whereby everything is "one size". (To "fit all", apparently.)
With the fashion industry hardly at the top of the leader board for encouraging a positive body image (whether that be fat, thin or in-between), this policy only fuels that kind of "you can't sit with us" feeling.
Having said all that, and in my defence, I'm a sucker for good quality and most of their clothes which I just about fit into, are 100% something - mostly wool or cotton which is a high street rarity these days.
Anyway the real reason I mention BM and their one size fits all motto is because I hate that's it's happening with fashion today. Or maybe it always has done. It sounds pretentious but it's such a headache shopping for special outfits on the high street because it's all so samey. Anything that's "in" gets so completely recycled that you can't cross the street without bumping into someone wearing the same outfit. And maybe we wouldn't have realised how frequently this was happening if it wasn't for the image-focused phenomenon that is social media, recording everything. Who wore what, where.
When I think about my black skinnies and converse combo I have to admit I'm as guilty of it as the next person and I've realised that the more financially available fashion has become, the less creative I have become in the way I dress.
Pretty sure younger me would be appalled at the way I dress these days: "Is this what fashion has become to you, older me? One size fits all??"
There's a scripture from the Bible in the book of Ecclesiastes (I think) that says something along the lines of there being nothing new under the sun. This correlates to my feeling about the fashion industry that there are no new trends, simply recycled ones.
When I say I love fashion this isn't what I mean. I don't love copy-cat outfits. I don't love trends. I don't love how one person can have so much influence that the industry changes to fit in with their ideal. Were big bottoms acceptable before Kim Kardashian exposed hers? Were gappy teeth popular before the world unveiled Cara Delevingne?
When I was younger and fashion was less accessible to me, I would cut up men's jeans to fit my legs for days, I wore necklaces the wrong way round to accentuate backless dresses and I would buy the same pair of shoes in two different colours and wear one of each as if it were a pair. That to me was fashion. Being creative with clothes and working on your own style.
I frequently double-take women and men walking past when they're rocking an incredibly unique outfit. I see so much of that in London and it's why fashion photographers like the late Bill Cunningham preferred to take his photographs out on the streets rather than at industry events where actually, everyone just plays it pretty safe.
I guess for fashion to be an industry it has to follow some sort of order and there are many talented designers and designs out there. I just hope you'll choose what suits you and not feel you have to just go with the flow. Even if that means you have to find a tailor and get your own material.
And for any young people reading this, if the shops your friends are going to don't work for you, just keep looking until you find one that does. Whatever you do, don't be sucked into that crowd mentality because one size does not fit all.