What Does Fashion Mean To You?

96424afe67169e4b38efe661859fae6cBack in 2015, I studied at a fashion college in Sydney, after realising how much time I spent during university reading about fashion and immersing myself into it. I love the way you could express yourself through the clothing you wore, without having to say a word. I love the creativity behind fashion in creating a piece of clothing. I’m sure if you asked anyone what does fashion mean to you? Each person would have a different answer. Self-expression is important, and the ability to choose what you wear is an instant way to tell others how you see yourself, and perhaps how you want others to see you.

Personal style is more important than trends, as it means that you can reflect and be yourself authentically. However, that isn’t to say one can’t wear something that’s trending if they like it. Personal style simply means not just wearing things just because it’s ‘in fashion’ or trending, but developing your own personal style. My love for fashion started when I bought my first fashion magazine as a teenager. I always had a hobby of drawing, painting and sketching, and in my spare time, I would design clothing. At first, the inspiration started from reading Beatrix Potter, and seeing how beautiful she would draw the clothing on the animals.

Fashion is important. Whether some may disagree, there’s no doubt that it’s something that encompasses our daily life because, well, everyone wears clothes! When we watch films, look at art or read a book, we see, feel or read descriptions of clothing. Last month I was at the museum, and as I walked through the different periods of history, I could see how much fashion changes with time. It’s a part of culture, history, identity, a person’s personality and artistic design. It can also be a form of hiding and disguising or open expression of our identity. In its functional elements, it ultimately keeps us warm, covered and comfortable.

Fashion is a form of communication. It can emote feelings, portray images, be visually pleasing or give us inspiration. We can communicate how we’re feeling, how we see ourselves, what we like and maybe shed a little part of our personality in what we choose to wear. There’s often a conception that the fashion industry is shallow, due to the visual elements. However, we wouldn’t be wearing the clothing we’re in right now, if the fashion industry didn’t exist. We wouldn’t be able to go into a store to purchase a clothing for certain occasions or find something that we feel comfortable or stylish wearing.

What does fashion mean to you?

“Don’t be into trends. Don’t make fashion own you, but you decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way you live.” – Gianni Versace

photography from caves collect

Personal Style Is More Important Than Trends

13988823_307047526316202_1431730111_n.jpgThere was a time when nearly everyone wore high waisted denim shorts, jeggings were in and many girls owned a pair of ankle boots. The interesting thing with trends is that at some point, they are bound to make a come back. I’ve always been curious at how trends are created and how popular clothing encourage hyperconsumerism. It’s a clever way of saying ‘You need to buy this’. The strong part about having personal style, is setting your individualism and personality at a glance. In a visual world, it’s undeniable that we will make first impressions of someone by the way they appear. Personal style encourages one to emphasise their own natural beauty and develop their own style.

There’s a difference between wearing what you like and wearing something for the sake of it being on trend. I’m sure I wouldn’t be the first to admit that I have purchased clothing that was trending, but if you only buy what is trending then there will be a desire to always purchase the latest clothing. In fast fashion, a lot of designs are unfortunately copied and many clothing stores will have similar trends with their competitors. The ability to express yourself without words, is a way of showing how you want to be viewed or perhaps how you see yourself. I recall watching an interview, where the actress said the costume always seems to be the factor that really ties everything in for the character to come alive.

I smile a little when I think about how my style has changed over the years. My younger days were blissfully filled with wearing whatever I had, without too much thought. My early teens were a little more conscious of what I was wearing. I started wearing crop tops and floral dresses because at the time, the stores were full of these. In high school, I always wore a bow in my hair or a cute accessory. I realised that the thing I felt the most safe or adventurous in was whenever I wore black. Call it the part of me when I was a musician – black seemed to always be the colour that was mostly worn and I’ve always just connected with that.

My fashion has always been influenced by Asian fashion styles. My personal style has evolved and become much more minimal and simple. Personal style is the ability to express you personality, inspiration, beliefs and lifestyle into an outfit. As much as I love fashion bloggers as the next person, I feel that often we have a long feed of suggested clothes to wear and advertised products, but the importance is in finding what inspires you and feels like you. If you love street fashion as myself, you may of noticed the way some people hold themselves. Some people exude confidence and really own what they wear.

Too many jazz pianists limit themselves to a personal style, a trademark, so to speak. They confine themselves to one type of playing. – Oscar Peterson

Shop the amazing hand-embroidered sweatshirt designed by Sofia Salazer here

My Thoughts on Embracing Your Personal Style

890e480899afc7b881148c75ee7b38b7Fashions fade, style is eternal.” – Yves Saint Laurent

I for one, am always intrigued by the different fashion trends that come and go, and return throughout the years. There are the trends that one might love and purchase the product immediately, and the other ones that you simply can’t imagine how it became a trend. Fashion is part of a global language filled with self expression, cultural background and instant communication, with a long history. You may recognize that many people wear clothes to express themselves (eg. how they are feeling that day), many people wear clothes to show what they want to reflect or become and some wear what is currently in fashion. Have you ever noticed, how someone effortlessly holds themselves in what they wear, the way they look comfortable and at ease. Or have you ever noticed someone wearing something they didn’t suit and gives the impression that they are wearing clothes for other’s rather than for themselves?

Personal style is such an important part of the way we present ourselves visually. It is an instant language we speak, to disguise within or to express ourselves. I believe that it is an important reminder to let oneself know not to follow the crowd. It is easy to with current trends, popular culture and fashion magazines pointing out what to wear and what not to wear. I am a believer that what we wear creates a strong first impression on the people we meet and it also affects how we feel about ourselves. With all the vital ingredients of feeling true to yourself from within first and foremost, we must integrate a sense of self and individuality rather than conformity. Wear what you love, instead of wearing what is based on societal perception of what is cool. Style is about embracing what you feel most yourself in. In Shakespeare’s words All the world’s a stage. We all play our own characters.

Remember, we are all different. Just as music, art, dance and other creative arts are a form of self expression, rather than replicating and imitating someone else, remember to stay authentic and express your own special kind of kaleidoscope.