Streetstyle. A word that divides us like Marmite. Do you love it? Or are you sick and tired of it? For me, it has more appeal that Heat Magazine ever had. I’ve never been massively excited about celebrity style, bar the odd few Hollywood dwellers I cherry picked, like Jessica Alba, Kate Bosworth, The Olsens. Apart from those, the rest was implicitly uninspiring. And as for fancy dressing, and this is going to sound pretty conceited, but I’ve never understood the red carpet obsession. What people wore to major events interested me as much as the ingredients that go into making bricks. Its impressive, yes. I get that. And the people wearing the gowns look incredibly stunning (generally speaking). But its not real. Its not attainable and therefore its not achievable. And thats why it doesn’t interest me. I like fashion I can get my teeth into.
The high street has always replicated runway – its always happened, it always will. Many of us aren’t aware of it but its how the sartorial world works (and thats why its worth billions in the UK every single year, more than the automotive industry). Remember that soul-destroying line Anne Hathaway was delivered by Meryl after she had the absolute gall to snigger at the stylists deliberation over which belt to choose in Devil Wears Prada? Yeah, that one. Well, watch it back, because that’s basically what I’m going on about. I worked in-store at Topshop a couple of years ago, in my local city, which isn’t London, but its not far off, and on many occasions (I’m gonna get shut down for this, Skepta-style), I genuinely felt trends we were promoting were out-of-date. I’m not saying that’s Topshops fault, more the stores. And that’s Topshop. Our cutting-edge fashion hub we all rely on for cutting-edge fashion. And as ratty and untidy and unfriendly our local Zara store was, at least it was stocking garments which were, hmmm ok, lets be diplomatic about this, inspired by current favourite designers (because lets face it, one season its Celine, the next its Chloe, and after that its Stella McCartney, because the world is a very fickle place). Basically, what I’m trying to say is we can’t all afford designer goods. The high street is there to provide the fashion-obsessed with assistance, supplying the demand with on-trend designer copies, so that we can all afford a little slice of trend-led high fashion, which then provides the impetus to replicate designer-led streetstyle outfits easily. Fashion changes SO rapidly, how do we keep up? There are major trends, trends and micro-trends. Which do we choose? We don’t. We adopt them all. How? Because high street fashion is affordable and we live in a relatively wealthy society to be able to keep up with such trends, with resellers such as eBay, Vestiare, Gumtree and the truly British car boot sale or if you’re from the 80’s, the jumble sale, where we sell on those pocket-money pieces we wore just once, to free up space for the next micro-trend. OR, you hoard everything and keep it for when it comes around again, because we all know that’s going to happen within the next five years.
Let’s get back to street style. Streetstyle is about what real people wear. And who better to represent trends than our own people, us, real people who are curating their own unique looks, using vintage pieces, high fashion and designer-wear to achieve a truly unique look, which as we all have come to realise, isn’t so easy these days. But, and this is a big but, which streetstyle images are real, and which are staged? This is a whole other arguement, but with my obsessive late-night social media habits, I feel pretty confident I now have a trained eye. Does it really matter, when its just a streetstyle image we’re after for inspiration for tomorrows outfit? No, not really. What we all want to see is someone dressing in a way we can appreciate, based on the individual style we all embody. And its not about ripping off what someone else is wearing. Its about inspiration, getting ideas from people we admire. If it allows us to recycle pieces in our wardrobes year after year, wearing them differently to how we did last time, then that’s a pretty good reason to ditch Heat Magazine, logon to Tommy Ton and get your sartorial juices flowing.
Below are a few of my favourite recent streetstyle images and some links to some sources of inspiration I rely on for a fresh burst of ‘what-shall-I-wear-tomorrow’….
T-shirt (old) / Topshop
Velvet Shoes / Topshop
You can trust the fashion industry to take any piece of functional clothing and turn it into something aesthetically wearable for the masses. Lets use the military jacket or the officers jacket as an example. Initially designed to represent authority, symbolic of the oligarch and a form of protection. The double breasted officers jacket caused a reaction amongst opposing troops, a parallel the jacket shares with fashion – to cause a visual reaction. And who better to embrace this than Jimi Hendrix, who in my opinion, wore it best. Hands down. Though Kate Moss was a pretty close contender. Designer favourites such as Saint Laurent, Balmain, McQueen and Jean Paul Gaultier have all, at some point, added this notoriously British garment to their seasonal collections over time which may be out of reach for some of us, unless someone gets immensely lucky on eBay or Vestiare (they have so many!) however you can trust the high street to deliver a version accessible to all. Here are a few I’ve come across, including the beautiful Mango version I bought last week pictured and linked to above, which I wore today with my trusty Levi 501’s, so as not to look like someone who may start barking orders at innocent victims around me.
Benefit They’re Real Mascara / Feel Unique
When I was sent the Warehouse Lookbook for this seasons new collection, I knew instantly it was a winner. Naval inspiration and nordic detail create a statement uniform for the urban folk heroine. A strong palette of black and deep navy, blended together with caramel, ochre and hints of velvety red wine allow texture to become a focal point of the collection. Leather, suede and mongolian fur trims bring the smudgy kohl-eyed rock heroine to the street, whilst baby soft cashmere and winter bohemian tapestry prints illustrate the beauty found within city life.
Shop the Warehouse latest Autumn collection here. I most definitely will be – my edited current favourites are below:
I’m wearing Innocentina Python Print Ankle Boots from Aldo
Whilst scouting online for a new pair of black boots for Autumn (and also whilst moodboarding the last blog post) I became waylaid and stumbled across the most perfect, super-on-trend pair of boots I subsequently almost lost sleep over. I bought them the following day. I love them. Welcome to the club, new booties.