The London Lookbook: I am what I am
I’ve never been one to worry about what others think of me, I believe life is entirely too short to trouble oneself with the untenable issue of the opinions of others. When I was a little girl my parents encouraged me to express my creativity without shame or embarrassment – this resulted in some fairly eccentric outfits. My favourite look from my childhood was put together by my three-year-old self; a croupier’s visor, an 80’s slogan t-shirt, a pink tutu and a pair of red wellies. This is how I was dressed for a birthday party where all the other little girls were in frilly, princess Di inspired dresses of the era. I rocked up with unadulterated confidence and I have my folks to thank for that.
My creativity wasn’t limited to my social and home life. I went to a school where we didn’t wear uniforms, this afforded more opportunity for sartorial experiments. Going to school in a fireman’s helmet, a nurse’s uniform or dressed as Michael Jackson was valid school wear so far as I was concerned. My grandmother was a brilliant seamstress and she was responsible for providing me with fashion fodder for my oddball style choices.
As well as sewing various costumes for my brother and I, my grandmother was a confidence cheerleader. Her favourite expression was ‘If any one doesn’t like you they’re either stupid, blind or they’ve got bad taste’. I see now that this was a somewhat arrogance inducing statement, but it’s served me well none the less. My vintage sequin waistcoat belonged to her, and it has appropriate sparkle that matched her shimmering personality. I’ve paired it wit J Brand jeans, a blouse from Topshop and over the knee boots from Kurt Geiger. I’m well aware that the combination of thigh high boots and kitschy waistcoat makes me look like a character from a pantomime crossed with a pearly queen. However, these are both great British institutions and it’s feels right that I pay appropriate tribute to them.
Sequins are thought of as too gaudy for the daytime, but I frankly don’t mind a jot – they make me happy and as far as I’m concerned that’s plenty good enough reason to wear them. My parents and grandparents taught me that you should always be yourself, because everyone else is taken (it was actually Oscar Wilde who said that, but my family meant the same thing). If the people around you find that unacceptable, then make new friends. To thine own self be true…