Once upon a time at the beginning of a massive global economic recession, a cool fashion began to develop…it was a subtle combination of geek-chic, vintage trends, dressing like your grandpa
Once upon a time at the beginning of a massive global economic recession, a cool fashion began to develop…it was a subtle combination of geek-chic, vintage trends, dressing like your grandparents and London rebelliousness.
It was cool as cool can be but then…everyone started wearing it. American Apparel, Urban Outfitters and over-priced ‘vintage’ shops began springing up in every city centre selling the ‘edgy’ look. Agyness Deyn was so relentlessly photographed I wonder whether she slept.
For the girls it was a rejection of fake tan, blonde curls, bootleg jeans and body-con dresses, it was a rejection of blatant sex appeal for subtle sex appeal; ‘I’m so unique and different, like a little boy geek’.
For the boys it was an acceptance of skinniness, no need to go to the gym and wear tight t-shirts and wife-beaters for this look, the lankier the better!
And everybody scorned all things preppy: Ralph Lauren, Jack Wills, Hollister, floppy back-brushed hair and polo-shirts were out (where they ever in?).
So here is my guide for girls on how to be a ‘cool’ kid and fit in with everybody else:
Or on the other hand use it as a series of things not to do because it is no longer interesting or special.
Starting with the top and working down.
1. Hair: grow it long and put it in a centre parting either loosely straight or slightly wavy, no ringlets whatsoever, it must look natural and hippyish getting blonder towards the ends.
For an every day look, the top knot bun is a must have, wear it round and like you just scraped it together when actually it took an hour and there is half a tonne of foam held within. If you really want to commit to looking like an idiot, shave a chunk of you long tresses away and regret it for the next few years as you attempt to grow it out. Or just do a blunt fringe á la Jessie J.
2. Makeup: liquid eyeliner in cat-eye flicks is really the only thing you can do; see anyone from the 1950s for inspiration. Bright lipsticks are a must, red isn’t brave enough anymore, the more dangerous and mad the better: bright pinks, purples, oranges and of course very dark purples and blacks. Ditto with nail polish. Wear it with disdain.
3. Body: try to be thin. If not wear a fedora or bowler hat on the back of your head.
4. Top half clothing: same as the boys, baggy t-shirts with black and white blurry photos and unintelligible designs, check shirts with EVERY BUTTON DONE UP RIGHT TO THE TOP TO BE REALLY COOL. See-through shirts with American Apparel bras or strapless bras: ‘I’m not slutty because my arms are covered and I’m wearing a shirt’ despite the fact you are actually out in just your brassiere. Or just go out in a bra pretending to be a top.
5. Outerwear: fur coats- it can be real as long as its ‘vintage’, denim, suede and leather jackets- they can’t fit you they either have to be too tight or way too baggy like you just grabbed them from your attic on the way to an electro club in Berlin. Over-sized cardigans that you bought from a flea market for 50p and the acrylic (pretending to be wool) shows it.
6. Bottom half clothing: jeans and trousers must be high-waisted and super tight. You can wear baggy denim high-waisted shorts as long as they look decidedly ragged and are Levis. If you have the arse for it wear the pants look to be really ‘fashionable’. I’m sure Karl Lagerfeld would be mega impressed.
7. Shoes: the ugliest, blockiest, wedgeyist, platform heels you can find for nights out. Stilettos are OVER. For day time- high top trainers, converse (a salute to the 90’s), rugged biker boots, loafers and of course brogues. The manlier the better.
8. Bags: rucksacks that look like they are from World War 2 or conversely, an 80’s sports shop. They have to hold your Golden Virginia and rizla, old records, huge headphones and battered i-phone.
9. Jewellery: wrists should be submerged in friendship bracelets and festival bands from all your travels around East Asia and that festival you went to in Bulgaria after Glastonbury. You intend to have them on for the rest of your life but they will actually get chopped off at your first interview. For necklaces and earrings think tribal: long, heavy, feathery with bones and charms and huge chunks of semi-precious stone. Or gold hoops as an ironic nod to chav style.
10. Get a tattoo of a small bird for your ankle, wrist or neck. Blame Kate Moss for this trend.
Inspiration once came from: Sienna Miller, Kate Moss, Pixie Geldof, Agyness Deyn, Chloe Sevigny, Mischa Barton.
Now look to: Alexa Chung, Cara Delevingne, Clemence Poesy, Daisy Lowe, Alice Dellal, Georgia May Jagger etc. London It Girls. Any female singer-song writer will rock these looks too.