"In order to be irreplaceaple one must always be different."

Coco Chanel

Monday, 10 January 2011

Melbourne Fashion Update

The two main threads that seem to be lingering on the Melbourne streets in recent months are what I have dubbed the ‘Irony’ and ‘Apathy’ schools of thought. Both looks are both fairly easy to spot, and both have the danger of being easily misinterpreted.

Apathy can be a hard one to achieve. Go too far and you run the risk of looking like you don’t know rather than don't care. Trademark features this season have been oversized fisherman sweaters and cardigans, men’s anoraks, hair is long and unkempt, fringes and colours are half-grown out, and makeup is fairly non-existent (except for the occasional slash of lipstick). This look can be amazing on the right person – usually someone who looks pretty or interesting enough to not need any assistance, and being the size of a 12-year old is always a plus! Case in point: a friend of mine who pulls this look off exceptionally well arrived at my house the other day swimming in a giant men’s anorak, little twig legs in skinny jeans poking out the bottom, and a beanie pulled over mousey hair. If I wore this I would look like a hobo, on her – amazing.

The ‘ironic’ look can also cause some confusion. It is very reliant on context to be recognized. Often I am caught out with the ‘I don’t know if that’s really ugly or really cool?!’ conundrum, and its not till you take the environment into consideration (eg. Hip-indy bandroom vs fast asleep on park bench) that it becomes apparent whether a mohair-koala cardigan over leopard print tights is an ‘ironic nod to the 90s’, or really someone who just hasn’t moved on. The other day a friend of mine was telling me about how hard she finds it to relate to her colleagues, and gave me an example of a woman she works with who ‘... wears scrunchies in her hair! I mean, when I do it its ironic... but when she does it, its just tacky!’. It seems ridiculous, but what is fashion if not fickle?

Hazel Squair, Melbourne Correspondent.

The fisherman look: from Shoreditch to Northcote
It seems that the 'apathy' look is pervading street fashion in both the northern and southern hemispheres. This handsome English lad has nailed the look of apathy, and as Hazel said, it takes the right kind of person (in other words only the naturally good looking) to pull if off. From the torn hem line on his denim shirt to the scuffed lace-up boots and what appears to be an old fisherman's woollen sweatshirt, he looks like he just don't give a damn. But his well nicely coiffured hair would indicate otherwise. I took this shot in London but by the sounds of Hazel's report, this could've easily been captured in the streets of Melbourne (apart from the elegant backdrop that is none other than the beautiful Somerset House).


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    walking NW magazine - maybe that's how he got me in too! Thanks girls.

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