A Style Story

I think we can all say we look back over the years and can at least laugh at some past style choices we have made. Whether we laugh it off or not, it's made us develop into the style we currently choose to evoke and portray today. Whether it's influenced from current pop culture or political topics surrounding us, as we grow the majority of us feel much more at ease and comfortable in the way we dress for ourselves, our bodies and ultimately what we want to express.

Being a designer, I'm constantly looking for or stumbling across references of inspiration or influence that will allow me to express my style through my own vision. However, I feel so many of us today just take things at face value and fail to really dig deep into our thoughts. As to why we liken or feel the need to have that shirt or dress other than just settling for "it's pretty". I always aim to design or create something that offers an emotional attachment or at least experience, so that piece can become an integral part of someone else's life and style story. 

All of this got me thinking about why I dress the way I do, how I dressed in the past, why I love the style that has become somewhat of a signature of mine and why? In my previous post, I wrote about the subject of colour and it's importance in our lives. Like colour, style is a part of our lives whether we actually care about fashion or not. 

Looking back on my childhood, I can remember clearly knowing what I did and didn't like when my mum would want to dress me. I was your typical tomboy, all I wanted was to wear baggy t-shirts and camouflage trousers and never brush my hair. I felt such a sense of freedom and excitement in wearing "boyish" clothes and not looking like a typical girly girl. And this continued up until the age of around 16 when I started to experiment with makeup (shocker, I know). That's when I really started to develop my own look, although at first, I struggled to merge that boyish/pretty aesthetic. Now, merging both masculine and feminine elements to my work, how I design and how I dress is second nature to me, it is who I am. 

The earliest influences of my immediate style were both my nan’s, my parents and my sister. I was always torn by who I wanted to be like for that day. My Nan’s were the first I ever saw making clothes. Growing up they made most of my clothes and I still have them to this day. My Nana Eileen taught me how to sew by hand and my Nana Maureen I discovered only last year was a seamstress for Burberry in her twenties. Suddenly things started to make more sense for me, in which I felt such an inner sense of pride too. My dad was the first I can ever remember seeing in a suit, my Mum was the first I ever saw wearing a gingham mini dress (everytime I see gingham now it makes me smile). And last but not least, my sister was the first person I saw wearing a Burberry bucket hat (it was exceptional at the time, don’t judge us). Now I see that growing up it was subconscious to me. I was yet to realise that I was getting all these traits from my family and storing these memories in my head. And when I think back, I realise of course, this is why I am the way I am. Little did I know it would influence me enough to design my own clothes one day for a living. 

More to the point, there are many memories we can all remember growing up that have influenced our style today and there are more that we have yet to discover. That is the beauty of fashion for me, we constantly evolve as much as we do repeat certain eras and classicism’s time again. Pop and political culture will always play a pivotal role in the image of the era we are currently experiencing, and to say the least 2016 has been an extremely testing one so far.

But I believe when we look back to now in years to come, after all the trials and tribulations we are currently facing, our image today will overall stand for power, strength, unapologetic liberation and ideally, unity.  So, whether you are more Steve Jobs when it come to choosing the way you dress than you are say Rihanna, whatever you do, just be you, focus on your own story.  

Scarlett Cunningham