Why making an effort is back in fashion
I love fashion. I love thinking about it, looking at it and most importantly wearing it. For me, my love of fashion involves a lot of ‘work'. Those Instagrams won’t look at themselves, those old Kate Moss collaboration dresses won’t find themselves on eBay, and most importantly that sequin skirt will not wear itself. I don’t buy the idea of ‘effortless’ style - for me the pleasure, the satisfaction and the joy of fashion comes from the work put in to create the look.
The epitome of style may be seen to be the Parisian women with her Breton stripes, cigarette pants and done/undone hair - a style created for those that pretend to not care about fashion. But for me, the point is that I do care. I care very much about the clothes I wear. I want my love for fashion to show every day, which would not be possible without the inspiration of the fabulous Alessandro Michele, Creative Director of Gucci.
He is a designer that wholeheartedly celebrates his love of fashion and all its beauty, madness and effort. He has made it ok to wear sequins to work, jacquard on the school run or embroidered dragons to brunch. You can’t really wear a green brocade suit with a pussy bow blouse without looking like you have made an effort, which is something that should be embraced and celebrated whether you’re wearing Gucci (wishful thinking) or the knockoff from Zara.
This eclecticism or ‘maximalism’ sits at the opposite spectrum of minimalism and feels like a breath of fresh air after wall-to-wall minimalism and calls to de-clutter and get back to basics. Whilst pared back fashion may be seen as aspirational (clever capsule wardrobes and so on), it can also be deeply boring. Where’s the fun in wearing navy and camel all day every day?
I’ve also often wondered where our fascination with ‘effortless’ comes from. We see it in fashion (aforementioned chic Parisians) but also beyond that. How many of us can remember telling friends at school that ‘I really didn't revise at all for this test on photosynthesis’ only to get 95%?
Why is it that making an effort and trying is seen as a negative thing in society? Does it come back to this idea that we are all, on some level scared of failure? If we haven’t tried to work for a test or to wear a great outfit then how can we possibly fail? Perhaps if we start being more effortful - whether in the way we dress or the way we work, we will be able to have more authentic (and ultimately more fulfilled) relationships with fashion and beyond.
We are seeing this effortfulness in other areas of culture too. We are noticing a rise in Instagram accounts that show the effort behind the dream photo, an exposé of behind the scenes - versus the artfully shot macaroon placed next to the cup.
There’s nothing wrong with making an effort, as long as it’s authentically you. It’s not just about buying ‘stuff’. It takes skill and dedication to pull off the ‘maximalist’ (or you can end up looking like a fashion victim versus victor). More is best for me!
On that note, I’m off to get a Beehive a la Adele circa 2011. Because that’s just the sort of person I am on a Monday morning.
- Article by Katie Matthews