07 October 2013

Personal Style

With all of the high fashion hype going on, it's important to remember
the stark difference between fashion and style. 

A couple of weeks ago, I read an article that really got me thinking about the fashion weeks. The glitz and glam is great; the shows are artistic and inspiring. But the "ready to wear" label is misleading... to say the least. While those who are invited to the shows may be able to afford those looks straight from the runway, the typical woman cannot. The typical woman also does not have a reason to wear many of the looks on a daily basis that would justify the spending on those pieces. 
So, then, what's the point?

I am a strong believer of the idea that fashion is art.
The designers and stylists use fashion to artistically display their thoughts and inspiration for the upcoming seasons. But, I'm also a believer that personal style is art just the same. Women use style as personal expression. Colors, textures, and overall look can all come back and tell you about a woman- her values, her ambition, her taste. The way you style yourself has a lot to say about the woman that you are and the woman you aspire to be.

I know, it's heavy stuff.

But, it isn't to say that wearing sweats or norts means you're headed for failure. A bad hair day mended with a hat doesn't mean that you're lazy. And being put-together at all times doesn't mean that one's life is perfect. This post isn't about breaking self-confidence, but it's about building it up. It's about realizing that taking an outfit right off the runway doesn't mean that you're stylish, just like cheating on a test doesn't mean that you're smart. Being innovative, mixing looks is the key to personal style. Taking inspiration (and pieces) from the runway and making them work in your closet and with your schedule is what style is about. Cut-Copy-Pasting looks from a designer is only using their artistic senses to be fashionable. But fashion is fleeting. 

On my college-kid budget, I don't have much any money to spend on runway looks, anyways. So I particularly enjoyed the article and it's stance that high fashion is "silly and superficial". I love the shows; there are looks that I'd buy right off the runway if I could. But the emphasis put on looking just like the models and wearing those exact looks is extreme and unoriginal. Even the French, who are known for their impeccable style, tend to live by a "choose well, buy less" idea- be choosy in expensive pieces. Buy pieces that will last seasons and years. Buy items that will enhance your personal style, not your level of fashion. If you do that, you might not even have to go vintage shopping when the fashions come back around. Like my mom, who's been getting into her old Coach bags because they look classic and cool, be the woman who has a closet full of timeless items. 

To add to the support for this stance, take a look at the street style of the fashion weeks. Off the runway, the models are anything but runway-ready. While their runway style is polished and posh, their street style is comfortable. It's an extension of who they are, where they've been, and where they're going. The fashion week spectators are seen in all different styles that mix labels and functionality. In a way, I think the street style looks are more inspiring and beneficial than the actual couture shows because they show how real women wear these seemingly impossible pieces. 

They've created style out of fashion, and that's something that 
every women should be inspired to do.