“Fashions fade, style is eternal” – Yves Saint Laurent
I’m sure everyone is familiar with this YSL quote – ever ponder or reflect on what it means? In last week’s post, I talked about “Quality vs. Quantity” and one reader commented on how people with the most or newest clothes are often called “stylish” in online fashion communities or in the blogosphere. So this made me wonder, does having the trendiest pieces or the biggest wardrobe automatically equate to being stylish?
Although I’m fairly new to blogging (four months old!), I noticed that other bloggers have complained about not having the newest “must haves” or “it” items and because of that, they don’t feel as fashionable. They have expressed that constantly re-stocking their closets is essential in order to give their readers a reason to visit their blogs often. It could be due to my naïveté, but I didn’t think that blogging would accrue such expenses. Again, it made me wonder if constantly having new additions to one’s wardrobe is associated with being stylish.
This discussion on “Style vs. Trend” is certainly an expansion on the topic of “Quality vs. Quantity”. When I think about style, I think about quality. Not just in terms of the quality of the garment, shoe, or accessory, but the quality in how a person carries him/herself. Regardless of what trends are being advertised everywhere, style, in my opinion, is having the inherent ability to sift through these trends and emerge as unique. A stylish person can take bits and pieces from trends or use trends as an inspiration board, or perhaps dismiss trends altogether (yes, I’m talking about you Ms. Alexa Chung) to create looks that truly embody who they are. They also have a flair for re-creating and re-inventing looks with the same pieces they already own. There isn’t a need to purchase more.
Also, I’ll admit that I am a bit biased because I personally don’t like having what everyone else has. What’s the fun in that?
I’m positive that I’m not alone in lusting after Anna Dello Russo’s never-ending wardrobe – she needed a separate apartment just to store them! – but she’s the .0001% and an exception. Plus, ADR never wears anything twice. Then I think about French Vogue’s Emmanuelle Alt with her unmistakable uniform consisting of a button-up, skinny ankle-length jeans, and stilettos. Google her and it’s almost as if she never wears anything else. Alt can probably look back ten or twenty years from now without proclaiming, “What was I thinking?!”
Another good question: what sets certain fashion houses or designers apart and how are they able to reign supreme for decades? It all boils down to signature style. Chanel’s tweed jacket, pearls, and iconic quilted bag. Diane von Furstenberg’s printed wrap dresses. Lanvin’s intricately draped dresses and gowns. Just to name a few. Sure, they add a few trendier pieces into their collections, yet it’s the classics, the ones that never get old, that continue to be the most sought-after and highly coveted.
Of course, defining style is very subjective. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, after all.
What are your thoughts?