FASHION AND STYLE

Yes – I admit – I still can’t bring myself to comment on the current political situation or world events. It’s all just too depressing and I actually hate what is going on. If one more person tries to influence me on social media as to how I should vote on Europe I think I will scream. It is bad enough to have all the politicians throwing propaganda and statistics at us. And if things weren’t bad enough, now we have Ken Livingstone’s horrible remarks which have sent the Labour Party into turmoil, the Conservative Party already split, the LibDems almost non-existent, and to cap it all – we have Donald Trump on the rampage the other side of the pond. Is it really a surprise that I want to write about something else?
So……
I have turned to the subject of ‘fashion and style’ – mainly because I came upon an interesting Coco Chanel quote where she said, “Fashion changes, but style endures.” I believe this to be so true. I have never been a slave of fashion and it amuses me to see the fanatical efforts of those who do. The ‘followers of fashion’ will do anything to keep up with the latest trends, which must take up a great deal of time and enormous expense. Sadly fashion also involves the obsession with the purchase of anything with a ‘designer label’. I am always bewildered if someone tells me that their rather hideous bag is by some famous name and cost a small fortune. Or I look on in horror as a large female form has been crammed into the clean cut lines of a Chanel suit. Of course, fashion can cause a stir and is of great importance to those with ‘so-called celebrity status’. We all can remember the famous Elizabeth Hurley dress which was held together with safety-pins. It caused a sensation for her on the night but was probably never worn again.
I am not a total killjoy. I love flicking through the fashion magazines and looking at the latest ideas. But most of them are beyond the purse and out of the question as a practical choice for most people. Some time ago, when my daughter was a model, she did a session for Vogue where she wore a huge hat shaped like a teapot that quite frankly I wouldn’t have worn to Ascot. It all seemed a rather pointless exercise.
Which brings me to ‘style’ – a far more interesting subject. I firmly believe that a real sense of style is something you are born with, rather like a real talent in music, writing, painting etc. Pure style is something we recognise instantly. We all know people we admire for ‘their style’. But those apart – we all have our own individual tastes and sense of style. If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then so is style. Probably the person I found the most stylish ever was Audrey Hepburn and she said something I believe to be true. “Everyone has his or her own style. When you have found it you should stick to it.”
One of the most difficult things about growing up is to find your own style, whether it be in the clothes you wear, or in your surroundings. It took me a long time to find the former – the latter came to me more easily. I have always furnished and decorated the places I have lived in the same way. I use a lot of white and neutral colours in every room and then have a rather quirky way of mixing in furniture that I love, along with various accessories – tapestry cushions,the odd statue, walls crammed with pictures and always plenty of books.
It has become recognisable and no matter how much I downsize, people always comment that the places I live in always have the same look – my own individual style.

As regards my fashion sense, Audrey Hepburn is right. I have found what I like and I am sticking to it – and this doesn’t involve rushing after the latest fashion trends or designer labels!

So this is an upbeat and optimistic missive – just stick to what you like and what feels right – and you can’t go far wrong.

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