Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Fashioning February: Slave to Fashion - Part Three

So after the journey from the catwalk shows of New York to the couture ones of Paris and the red carpet of celebrity land we move to the High Street. London arguably has the best high street in the world: nowhere else provides the look of the catwalk in accessible prices. Previously high fashion was for the rich and famous and those with poorer pockets having to settle for the high street. However over the years the High Street has become more appealing to people with deeper pockets. Particularly with stores enlisting the services of celebrities, for instance Kate Moss and Topshop, Madonna and H&M and Coleen Rooney nee Mcloughlin and Asda. The High Street's ability to copycat the catwalk trends within weeks of display is admirable and invaluable to young fashionistas who are on a budget but still want to keep up with the trends. The High street really arrived when that bible of fashion, Vogue began to feature clothes from stores like Topshop and H&M with Company and Elle following suit. Nowadays the likes of Grazia, Look and Now are packed with items from the High Street. With the success of stores like Primark and TK Maxx, it is now super cool to boast about how little you have spent on your threads. Because everyone knows that a real fashionista mixes high street with designer and then some vintage.
Other exciting elements were introduced onto the High Street with stores bringing in fully fledged designers to create diffusion ranges. So Stella McCartney came to H&M followed by Matthew Williamson and Roberto Cavalli. Debenhams got into the act with Betty Jackson, Ben de Lisi and Henry Holland. In a way these intiatives created a bridge between high street and designer clothes.Today the modern Brit lass now has many options open to her when seeking the perfect item to update her wardrobe. Due to this shops have grown to react to these demands; shops now have their own in house design team which keeps designers on their toes. But one advantage that the high street has over designers is being able to turn over stock monthly and this dynamism appeals to the savvy fashionista who knows exactly what they want. On the flip side there is also the boutiques which are a perfect haven for local fashionistas to buy their cherished designer items. Far removed from the designer shop, the boutique shop is a much more intimate and friendly atmosphere to shop. It is a way to have that one to one personal service. 

Couture was an insight into the weird and wonderful minds of some of the world's most talented designers and has a subtle influence down the fashion food chain. High fashion is about selling us a dream but we should be cautious about buying into that whole sale because a lot of high fashion is nothing but an illusion. Likewise for  celebrities, who look fabulous you need to remember that there is a whole machine behind them that makes sure that they get on the cover of the magazines and look good on the red carpet. Although fashion might be intimidating to celebrities they love it as much as we do. As for the High Street, they are on a roll and ransacking our wardrobes and showing us that we can have style and quality without breaking the bank. We should not be intimidated we should pick and mix from what is on offer and what we can afford and above all we should create our own personal style because fashion should be about expressing ourselves and having fun, experiement because it is not the end of the world if you get it wrong once in a while. It may only be fashion but it is pretty fabulous.
June Sarpong, Slave to Fashion 2006
 To sum this up, fashion is fun and it is about taking in the bits that you love and running with it. 

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