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When I was studying Art History, one of the arguments in defence of our subject was that our discipline was not a by-product or secondary to another. It was not a branch of History or a theoretical arm of Fine Art, it wasn’t even a practical manifestation of Philosophy. Art History was what it is. However, what I didn’t admit during my admissions interview was that I am not and am still not a fan of museums. They are beautiful places when empty and they are heaving with stories, age and information but they just aren’t accessible, even to someone who studied it. The very fact that we had an essay on the ‘aura’ of exhibitions made me realise that museums and the art industry wasn’t for the layman and whilst there’s a certain appeal to the elitism, it just isn’t plausible for the everyday, for everyone. I loved it but I knew that unless I could share my love that it wasn’t going to go far in my life.
But what is it about style – why do people love fashion?
Fashion is that thing where unless you aggressively avoid it and live in a nudist commune with no connectivity, you just cannot fight it. And critically, as much of a dream as a runway edition of a Chanel bag is, it’s infinitely more affordable than a Picasso. So as angry and/or passionate as I get about the blogging industry and its many flaws, it’s still an offspring of the fashion industry and that is what I love. Even through all the commercial muck, some of us are still fighting for that ounce of art and that glimmer of escapism that dressing up can provide. Don’t we all want to get lost in an image and imagine for just a second that we could be part of that other world, merely through engaging with a picture? And I love how intertwined we are and how our roles overlap or complement one another – PR and journalists, designers and PR and journalists, bloggers and PR, marketing and PR, the combinations go on and on. And how that tension between publications and independent but high profile and quality bloggers rub so close that there are sparks of debate even the most disengaged, superficial member of the industry can catch onto. It’s that kind of fire that I’m interested in and want to fan into a full blown blaze.
And that’s the kind of passion that drove me as a 14 year old girl to plaster the walls of my dormitory (was only sharing with one other very French French girl) with bits from countless fashion bibles so that I lived under a constant ceiling if inspiration and emotion. Sometimes I wonder to myself how people can pull themselves through without feeling and moving along with the energy that radiates from the act of creation. Sometimes I wonder how people have the nerve to taint it with their incredible ability for fakery (I once attended an event where I was complimented on my jacket and they asked me if I made it. I said no but I made my shoes which were Valentino and very recognisable. You’d never believe but their response was, “oh wow I can’t believe you made them!” Major eye roll moment right there). Then I realise that there’s a higher concept of art and its most accessible form – fashion, and then there’s the everyday, which is what I’m attached to. My love for fashion is the constant reach, the ongoing and relentless aspiration for an ideal that I know deep down can never be obtained. It’s a sick lust for the most beautiful that man can achieve that can also appeal to the least knowledgable of us all.
Paper London SS17 top
Calla Atelier dress as a skirt
Radley bag (available here)