Welcome to my second week of ‘Friday Lookbook’ and after the popularity of the previous installment which you can read here I have been looking to my readers to provide me with the theme for this weeks looks. This week is centered around a powerful exploration of emotion and what it means to be human in a world centered around destruction. The lack of compassion prevalent in today’s society makes it even more imperative that we use fashion to instill a sense of community back into our world and re-create the happiness that was engineered to be with us at birth. Over time our identities are lost and we are just another soul trapped in the bleakness of post-modern automation but through creating unique looks we can remain true to the purest versions of ourselves. Therefore the theme of this week is ‘BEAUTIFUL YOU’ central to our understanding of what it means to be beautiful and to help us feel confident in our own skin.
When we are constantly undermined by the society that we live in I believe that we can reject the pre-automated choices that they make for us or the labels that they group us under through fashion that challenges the social norm.
The history of the mini skirt originated in the exploratory phase of the 60’s where colour-blocking, changing hemlines and overt layering became distinctive or synonymous with the image of 1960’s fashion. Bold and designed to make an impact the mini-skirt’s short hemlines was controversial, with media outlets defining it as ‘the spawn of the devil’ used to tempt men into immoral and reckless behavior. Men were shocked that women could be so brazen and labelled women who wore mini-skirts as ‘sluts’ or ‘whores’. The assumption that what women wear is a direct consequence of their immoral and licentious sexual behavior is of course absurd. Women were beginning to discover that their bodies were not objects to be exploited by the patriarchy but mechanisms against sexism and mini-skirts were a revolt against ‘slut-shaming’.
As a woman who is not confident in her own skin I wear mini skirts because they give me power and allow me to feel comfortable in my own skin; the hint of naked flesh allows me to be free from the shackles of restrictive clothing that our society deems is appropriate for women to wear. I reject the pre-conceived assumption that women’s clothing choices are parallel to their overt sexuality and instead re-define it as a powerful exploration of the female body.
Outfit: Sunglasses- Market, Turtleneck- Pretty Little Thing, Coat-Topshop, Boots-Lily Lulu, Skirt- Forever 21
Occasion- London Fashion Week
Part of my mission for this week as advocate for ‘A Beautiful You’ was to explore street art that radiated love and positivity. Look no further than Brazilian street artist Waleska Nomura a spokesperson for expressing positive energy through the medium of art. Nomura began her career as a self-taught artist and has slowly transformed into an internationally acclaimed artist whose project ‘Spreading The Love And Positive Energy To The World’ has inspired many artists to stray away from the ‘satirical or satorial parodies of human life’ and instead illustrate the simple joys of human expression. Nomura’s positive outlook to life can be linked to the 70’s free spirited ethos of ‘peace and love’ where society was built on fostering a community and curating a link between spirituality and retaining positive energy.
Nomura’s love affair with the 70’s spiritual energy is a sentiment echoed in my own personal style, where each piece is designed to build upon my confidence and make me feel more positive about my own body image. I was often bullied and told I couldn’t wear certain clothes because I had ‘no shape’ but now despite my lack of curves I wear what I like. Why wear clothing that you feel uncomfortable in simply because society tells you what to do?
Outfit: Co-ord- Missguided & Boots- Pretty Little Thing
Occassion- Social Convention
We all have insecurities about our body image and the way we look and that is largely due to the perpetuation of ‘ideal body image’ and/or looks that we are all expected to conform to regardless of genetic characteristics. In some societies it has become normal to criticize women and tell them what they need to ‘fix’ in order to make them more attractive in the eyes of men yet in my opinion beauty is in the eye of the beholder. For me I have a few bugbears about my appearance; my small eyes, my crooked teeth, hair and figure but I am working on telling the woman in the mirror that I love who she has become because I am proud to be me and I wouldn’t have it any other way. You may notice that in a lot of my photos I am wearing sunglasses and that is because I am self-conscious about the way I photograph on camera. I want to change that and become better at makeup so I have the confidence to take more non-sunglasses photos.
Outfit- Waistcoat- Miss Selfridge, Turtleneck-Primark, A-Line Shift- New Look & Boots-Pretty Little Thing
The female body has always been a ‘taboo topic’ or represented as a social stigma in the eyes of men who tell us to package our breasts in bras and keep our nipples censored but for the first time in my life I don’t need to wear a bra. Part of embracing ‘A Beautiful You’ is to accept your body as it is and knowing that I have small breasts I don’t feel the need to make my chest uncomfortable. No matter your breast size freeing the nipple is liberating and a big f***k you to the censorship laws in place in both social media and the reality that exists out of the online world.
As a child I was teased for having an androgynous, boyish shape but in the fashion world it works to my advantage and although I am not completely happy with my figure I am working on accepting my body as a unique vessel that only I have the key to.
Outfit: Lace-Up Bodysuit- Lily Lulu, Demin Pencil Skirt- Miss Selfridge, Shoes-Primark & Coat- Missguided
During the 1970’s David Bowie became Ziggy Stardust an androgynous alien king who subverted gender boundaries to create a gender-fluid identity and the rise of androgynous fashion has been on the rise ever since. Androgyny is a powerful expression of becoming ‘A Beautiful You’ allowing you to become a fantasy version of yourself without the limitations of sexual or biological boundaries. And it is not just celebrities who are breaking all the rules; where there was once a rigid demarcation between feminine and masculine fashion is being replaced by a deliberate erosion of gender stereotypes in the fashion industry. The a-sexual clothing ethos became popular in the blogging world too with bloggers like Cosmina from Mbcos reverting into a classical tomboy niche with masculine brogues and pinstripe trousers feeding into the 1940’s gangster aesthetic.
Androgyny is beautiful; neither masculine nor feminine it holds mystery and suspense unlike its more decisive gender-based clothing types and its international appeal lies in its ability to change the landscape of the fashion industry.
Outfit: Hat, Turtleneck, Trousers And Shoes- Primark & Coat-Topshop
What look or ethos was your favourite?