FASH101

Kate Beckinsale for MEAN magazine, 2008

 

Fashion is a tricky thing to talk about. Everyone has an opinion about it, and everyone is involved with it whether he or she likes it or not. I think that’s why I find it so fascinating. It’s a projection of yourself. Even if you think you don’t care about fashion you’re simultaneously conveying to the world “I don’t care about what I put on my body each morning! I’m laid back, I probably own a hand-me-down cat left behind by previous tenants, and I drink filter coffee.” This is a total stereotype, but however much we want to disagree and break down stereotypical barriers, we subconsciously use these generalisations to navigate our way around a world filled with strangers. BOOM.

So getting dressed is stressful enough, the more awkward part is telling people that I want to work in the fashion industry. Say you work as a nurse, people aren’t going to whip out a needle and say ‘show me your skills’ but saying you want to work in fashion is basically like saying ‘judge me’. And then there is the equally stressful aspect of being ‘in the know’. I asked the editor at my internship if I could work on the fashion pages of our magazine, to which he replied, “Oh you like fashion? Do you know ‘Mr-fabulous-person’ and ‘Mrs- fabulous-person’?” No, no I don’t… but feel more than free to introduce me!

Even more awkwardly, I can’t afford designer fashion. But the great part is I don’t particularly mind. See, while I admire and respect people who have found success as fashion designers, I don’t believe labels are the bible. Ok confession time girls, over half my wardrobe is from the op-shop, E-Bay, and (a little shamefully) K-Mart. But you could never tell, it’s all about how you put things together! Now get ready for the cheesy part… in all 100% honestly, confidence and smile is undoubtedly the best accessory you can wear. We as human beings are 100% more likely to assess a person (and what they are wearing) when they look unsure of themselves or of a situation. Fake it till you make it!

I don’t think I intentionally picked one of the most difficult industries to break into but hey, I like a challenge. And I love clothes. Getting dressed is like playing dress up: when I put together an outfit it influences my mood (smart, sophisticated, sexy) and even my productivity (I get waaay more done when I’m wearing glasses and my hair is in a bun – it’s science). My advice to other dreamers out there: like anything in life set goals, watch for opportunities and never let anyone slow you down. If you want to get to 10, aim for 12. If you unfortunately have to work for free to get to your goals then move back home, suck up your pride, and get shit done (not that I’m talking about anyone in particular…). ▼

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