Fashion never ceases to amaze, it never stops changing, and it always manages to surprise. Long gone are the days when matching your belt to your purse and shoes is the golden rule and bold choices were always part of the “don’t” department. Nowadays, it’s all about fun and self-expression. It doesn’t matter if it’s dressy, messy or daring, as long as you can make it work. Trends are not to be followed in a text book kind of way and there are no step by step recipes for style. You take what you like, and you make it your own, which brings us to our main concept: The Mash-Up.
In music, a mash-up is the blend of one or more pre-recorded songs, in other words, a sound collage. Mash-ups have become really popular lately, hence the Rihanna and Adele composition overload that has taken over the Internet. And since fashion always keeps up with what’s current and never gets left behind, designers came up with the garment version of it. The fashion mash-up is all about mixing and matching different trends, textures, patterns, and prints.
Last September, the Spring 2012 runways were flooded with beautiful and complex ensembles (keeping the collage trend from Fall 2011 alive). Jonathan Saunders presented a collection in which colorful knits, paisley, graphic prints, and delicate appliqué swirls merged into pure fashion poetry. Signora Miuccia showcased her take on mash-ups in both Prada (crochet, cars, jewels and leather, need I say more) and Miu Miu (the A-line lace coats, the micro prints and the ornate cowboy boots still haunt my dreams) and last but not least, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana paired up to perfection their fresh produce prints to their always exquisite lace. They even threw in a pinch of crochet and jacquard.
Dressing up mash-up style is all about using our imagination to create a stylistic and beautiful chaos. Before trying out this trend, here are some tips to take into consideration:
1. Lose the fear, it’ll only make you match your purse to your shoes and your belt.
2. Have fun and don’t take it all too seriously. That’s the point of this game and you’ll get a better result.
3. It might not look good in your mind, but you’ll never know unless you try it on.
4. Detailed garments are mash-up material, bright solids are not (that’s color-blocking).
5. Mash-up is not a synonym for costume. Think feather skirt, not feather boa.
6. Use evening pieces to pump up day ones.
7. Use day pieces to down play evening ones.
8. When it comes to mash-ups, more is more. Layering, statement jewelry and metallic pieces can help you get the look.
9. Go for textured shoes to add another twist to your ensemble: mirror wedges, embellished pumps, woven sandals.
10. Mashed-up is not the same thing as messed-up. Yes Snooki, we’re talking to you.
11. Floral prints are a girl’s best friend, which brings us to the next argument…
THE MASH-UP CHALLENGE: One style, two trends, three ways
→ THE STYLE: Ladylike
→ THE TRENDS: Lace and floral print
→ THE RESULT: THE LADYLIKE MASH UP
GARDEN MASH UP: If the party is in the garden, why not play the flower part?
Lace blazer, ZARA
Blush dress, TOPSHOP
Skinny belt, LIBERTY UK
Embellished sandals, ZARA
Chain purse, MICHAEL KORS
Cream Earrings, ASOS
Arty ring, YSL
Carry On nail polish, ESSIE
PASTEL MASH UP: Mixing in textures and prints but sticking with a soft color palette.
Lace coat, ZARA
Polka dot shirt, RIVER ISLAND
Lampshade floral skirt, ASOS
Raffia wedges, LULU’s
Yellow shopper bag, ASOS
Owl ring, RIVER ISLAND
Heart ring, WHISTLES
Cascade Cool nail polish, ESSIE
PEPLUM MASH-UP: Adding apeplum into this mix? It doesn’t get more ladylike than this!
Peplum top, RIVER ISLAND
Crochet shorts, RIVER ISLAND
Metallic belt, WAREHOUSE
Shiny wedges, ZARA
Bag, MARC by MARC JACOBS
Flower bracelet, FOREVER 21
Pearl bracelet, RIVER ISLAND
Engraved bangle, RIVER ISLAND
Miami Nice nail polish, ESSIE
Illustrations by Ana Sofia