As I got off the bus and walked towards the main gates of Ewha, I could not help but notice what little variety there was in the styles people were sporting. Skinny jeans, leggings, flat shoes, layered tops… Of course, I’m not limiting this just to the students of Ewha. You would expect the young, the wild, and the adventurous to experiment with fashion. To take on a personal style that reflects who they are as individuals. But in a world where ‘style’ can be bought this almost seems impossible, or rather unnecessary.
A great example of this would be the collaborative work between Topshop (a British retailer, which sells 500 pairs of leggings an hour and 6000 pairs of jeans a day) and Kate Moss (top fashion model and one of the most photographed women of today). Just a few weeks ago, literally thousands of women lined up outside the opening of the “Kate Moss Topshop,” to get first dips on the collection of clothes designed by the model herself. To anyone who follows the supermodel, the collection is ‘essentially Kate’ – meaning the clothes are more or less duplicates of the kinds she personally wears. By buying the collection, people are able to emulate her style, to become a chic and fashionable person.
Or is this really the case? What makes, Kate, Kate Moss is not merely the clothes she wears. It is more about her creating a unique, individual style. With even the simplest items of clothing – skinny jeans and a black t-shirt – she is able to convey a sense of style different from anyone else by throwing on a chunky belt or scarf. I am not saying following fashion trends is bad – not at all. One of my guiltiest pleasures is to click away many hours in front of the computer, looking at my favorite celebrities – paying attention to every little detail of their outfits. But that is that. I don’t try to imitate a certain style. Sure, fashion icons like Kate Moss, Katharine Hepburn, Jacqueline Kennedy, and my personal favorite, Diane Keaton, all inspire me. They inspire me to be simple in what I choose to wear and also to add a personal touch that expresses my individuality. They motivate me to find my own style.
Yves Saint Laurent is to have said, “Fashions fade, style is eternal.” Similarly, Coco Chanel boldly stated, “In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.” So instead of wearing the Kate-style, the Olsen-style or any other celebrity style, why not go for your own? Take out those clothes you bought but never had the courage to wear! Try long boots in the summer! Use your silk scarf as a belt! Most importantly, set free and style the “I” in fashion!