As a kid, I was raised not to imitate others, be myself no matter what, wear what you want, embrace your individual style, be a leader, not a follower. So I did, however, there was a massive flaw in my expressions of individuality. I was a teenager with acne, braces and weak as a kitten, therefore at school I was the proverbial sitting duck just for being different, this didn’t deter me it just made me pathetic for a short period. With my teenage years behind me I was free to wear what I wanted when I wanted, no point in saving anything for best, I could get eaten by a shark tomorrow and I don’t want to regret not wearing the sequin dress for the food shop. Cliche as it may be, once Sex and the City hit arrived in the late 90's it was a green light to wear whatever I wanted thanks to Patrica Field (google her if you don’t know who she is - shame on you). Carrie Bradshaw became my style icon, I loved her eclectic sense of fashion and the big bouncy curls that were so unachievable to my limp fine locks, but that hasn’t stopped my frying the hell out of my hair on occasion to attempt that look. It may have just been a fictional television show but it was the green light to give zero fucks on the fashion front.
I know the above may make me appear to be a whimsical and independent fashionista, but there is a note of caution here, being different doesn't always mean stylish, there were some EPIC fails as my friend Shirin will testify although she's a locked box on this one. Shirin has evidence that could incriminate any fashion merit that I have acquired over the years, luckily no photo evidence has surfaced yet, and I would prefer to keep it that way. To name a few highlights; wearing one glove with all outfits, not like a gardening glove but an evening silk (yak) glove, I thought that this was so cool until some guy in a bar asked if I was a burn victim. There was also the sequinned scarf attached to every waistband, this was a phenomenal look until I trapped it in the car door and dragged it the entire length of a motorway, literally fashion roadkill. Last, but by no means least, the stand-out has to be head stuff, no not hats, not fascinators, just any old tat I could stick to my head. Now, a recently acquired and highly truthful (actually make that brutally honest) friend Lora pointed out this obsession very quickly after we met, I didn’t realise I was such a hair accessory lover, she will testify (to any poor sod that will listen) that I just ‘love a clip’. This style addition evolved somewhat, may I even say refined? I am a lot more selective with what I attach to my head. I still occasionally have what I will call ‘creative visions’ but thankfully I have Maddy (yes, top mam moment Maddy from a previous post) to say ‘no hun’ or ‘what the actual f**k are you thinking’. My journey with accessories has been hit and miss, to me I feel I have got it right most of the time, to the observer, not so much, but then the only taste some people have is in their mouth.
I read an article a while back where Lady Gaga was using the age-old method of ‘face taping’ to smooth out her face and give her an instant lift. I love this idea but cannot be arsed with it, its difficult to achieve on your own, I tried, but after several failed attempts I still could not get my eyes the right level, and my ears and neck looked like I was a badly wrapped gift. In comes the more common, cheaper and slightly chavvy substitute, the high pony. I usually wear a high pony when I go out for several reasons, first and foremost it makes my face tight as a drum, secondly, it is the only way a bouncy curl or wave will stay in for the duration of the evening. But wearing my hair in the same style is a little boring, so I have started attaching clips to the left side, no reason for the left, probably because I am right-handed so putting stuff on that side is easier. So if you’re just starting with this I suggest you go budget, it took me a while to get it right; I snapped a lot of clips and almost scalped myself on more than one occasion.
Top tips - hairspray lightly where you want to attach the clips (it gives them something to stick too) and if you buy the clips online from somewhere like eBay (where I got the bees from) take the bee part off the nasty harsh metal grip and stick them onto your normal hair-tone kirby grips. Anything on a grip that is not your hair colour just makes it look like a mess as all you can see are the shiny grips crisscrossing all over. My all-time favourites are Ashley Williams London iconic hair clips, crystal words that are eye wateringly expensive, but to me the cost equates to the euphoric joy they bring me. You get two identical words in each pair and are priced between £80-£115 for the pair. (https://ashleywilliamslondon.com/) These babies sell themselves, but they are good quality, the slide is curved to mirror the shape of your head and the crystals stay sparkly forever! I am on my third pair and I love them. The words are normally something miserable or aggressive which is a nice outward notice to the general public that has never met me, no one wants a sparkly ‘babe’ or ‘hun’ on their head unless you’re 5 years old and going to a christening or a total moron. I have HATE, MISERY and FUCK, my mother will not discuss the FUCK ones as she didn’t raise me to have obscenities on my head and that they are not 'fashion' they are just rude expletives, awks.
Some things stand the test of time, the wheel, the telephone and me wearing a glove. I got back on this trend a couple of years ago and have styled it up so it is more chic and less burn victim. These leather gloves from Karl Lagerfield are just perfect and styled on his iconic gloves that wore constantly for the last 30 years before his recent passing. They just give a little something different and I wear the pair, not one, I mean what was I thinking to wear only one? They still stock them online and you can wear them the entire night and your hands don’t get overly hot either, the leather is so soft (sorry vegan pals) so they have stood the test of time too.
The attaching of stuff is not just to the extremities but also my body, I love a brooch, a cuff or a necklace. Lately, I have been wearing my ‘Jilly’ necklace non-stop from Anna Lou of London (https://www.annalouoflondon.com/) largely due to logistics as I can’t fasten it with my talons and also because I love it. I do tend to look like the Lord Mayor when wearing a brooch at the nape of my neck, but then that means I get to put a teeny tiny little flag on the front of my car so it's a win-win. I could go on and on about belts but I will save that blog for another day.
No matter how perfect the clothes they are lonely without their accessorising friends. They are bare, exposed and lack personality. Unless you are wearing a constant stream of couture made to measure, chances are you are buying something that is not a one-off, therefore you need to make it your own. I have seen so many women wear the same item but the way that they style and enhance it makes all the difference. Have fun with your accessorising, there are no rules, aside from the one glove thing, they come as a pair, you have two hands (hopefully otherwise I am pissing off people left right and centre with this) so wear both of the gloves, please.