‘Lolling heads in unison, driven insane by the stench of homogeneity, Everyone was dressed the same, aesthetic zombies lured into the trap of set guidelines,They told us what to wear and they took away our identities, we were walking puppets for democratic relief, I was a woman trapped in a mans body, they told me to wear skirts and dresses because trousers were for boys, At home us rebels would go rogue by night, the velveteers they called us with our gender bending ways, we were free to roam the streets at night and no one was the wiser, like chameleons we would escape the limitations of our gender and rolled into the 50’s without a care for gender boundaries, Audrey [Hepburn] taught us to be bold and brave, gone were the long useless locks and pixie cuts were popular, suddenly we were fashion icons and trousers were the norm, Gone was the need to conform, David Bowie made sure of that and Prince chimed in a word too,Live every day as the gender you feel and not as the gender you feel, Because in death you are remembered as the gender you lived and not as the gender you were born’
I have never been one to conform to fashion norms and even when I was told to wear skirts and dresses as a teen I would prefer skinny jeans and comfy, practical clothing because it made me feel more confident and comfortable in my skin. I did not have to worry about putting an outfit together nor did I worry about whether I was following the norm because the world was wearing jeans beside me. Over time my personal style progressed and I was embracing and favoring dresses because they made me feel more ‘stylish’ and I felt less ‘unfeminine’. Growing up I was teased and often called out for looking like a boy and at the time it made me feel like I stuck out like a sore thumb, so I sought solace in more feminine styles. Today I couldn’t give a s**t what people think and my style is quite often erratic ranging from jeans, a turtleneck and brogues one day and a dress, necklace and heels the next. I don’t feel we should pigeonhole ourselves into one trend and to be typecast as ‘girly’ is quite frankly offensive because I am not a label, nor am I a trend. So I urge you to throw off the shackles of society orientated trends and embrace what makes you, well you. Don’t be afraid to wear what you believe is your signature style and if you would rather wear jeans to an awards ceremony who cares because remember fashion has no rules and the only rule that exists is to stay true to yourself.
I have always had a unique interpretation of style and believe that we can find inspiration in nature, the food we love and even through architecture; my point being that our fashion has its roots in all our daily activities and we should not be afraid to embrace the unknown, even if it frightens us beyond all belief. Which is why I was so enthralled by Dirty Velvet’s graphic t-shirts, which satirize human thought, deliver political statements and above all present a distorted but compelling view of humanity, modern life and the universe. Calling themselves the ‘Velveteers’, Dirty Velvet is ironic, sarcastic and highly intuitive; t-shirts like the brilliant ‘Burger Tree’ create powerful ecological discourse around the issue of fast-food consumption and its affects on the economy, which ties into Dirty Velvet’s passion for environmental conservation. Produced using 100 % organic cotton, Dirty Velvet aim to provide ecological balance by using cotton from pesticide, herbicide and chemical fertilizer free farms, while t-shirts are curated using ecological and socially sustainable methods that do not harm animals or humans right to live. As someone who is making a conscious effort to wear more environmentally friendly clothing and has a sarcastic sense of humor, Dirty Velvet became the perfect fit. After all what better way of making a political statement than through clothing? Not content on creating t-shirts that are ecologically sustainable, satirical and incredibly witty, each t-shirt is made with comfort in mind. Featuring a simple 100% cotton canvas and a printed design, T-shirts fit to size without being over- overbearingly tight or too loose, a common feature of unisex shirts and creates a sharp, boxy silhouette with minimum room for slouch. With all the boxes ticked what more could you want in a t-shirt?
It was tough to choose a t-shirt but I eventually settled on the aptly named ‘Party Animals’, a subtle throwback and satirical reference to being a university fresher, where falling out of nightclubs at two in the morning and attending 9 AM lectures was a regular occurrence. We would slouch bleary eyed and hungover, unable to stay motivated and count down the hours until we could hit the town again. Sadly by second year those days were long behind me but this t-shirt gives me wonderful throwback memories. It is weird because putting on Dirty Velvet’s Party Animals T-Shirt reminded me of the person I used to be before the illnesses kicked in and university became more ‘serious’. Life was not about parties and hooking up but about studying and mapping out my future, but its good to have a souvenir of the best years of my life. To be honest I loved parties because I loved to dance and while I have less energy these days I like that Dirty Velvet gave me one last chance to relive my youth before I became a proper adult. Being an adult means paying bills and wishing you still had your student loan on tap but I wouldn’t have it any other way and thanks to Dirty Velvet I have my mojo back. No more moping about my stolen years and here is to a new positive outlook that embraces the woman I have become.
Would You Purchase T-shirts From Dirty Velvet?
Shop The Look– Shirt- Dirty Velvet / Sunglasses- Stradivarius / Trousers- Topshop / Brogues- Birdcage