Christmas shopping can get tiring, and sometimes so does life. Because with the drama and sleepless nights we all know life is full of the unexpected. Just like a runway show, a new trend, or a climactic twist in a book, sometimes life can surprise you. It can occur in the form of an unforeseen snowfall on Christmas Eve, discovering a connection with someone when you least expect it, or even disappointment amidst what seemed like perfection. But perhaps fulfillment lies in the unpredictable – in the perishable rather than the permanent. And when it comes to fashion and life, maybe it is best to sometimes favor the trendy over the timeless. Here are some avant-garde looks, which combine elements of the unexpected, worn by the most interesting and iconic people. So whether you are looking to give a gift that is sure to surprise or simply document your own life in clothing and pictures that makes you look back and question your choices, both wardrobe and otherwise, here is some inspiration. Because just like ‘questionable’ decisions make good stories, they make for interesting fashion too.
Experience in life, love, and fashion may be the most brutal of teachers, but it is undoubtedly the most effective. Over the course of our young lives, we can only hope that we don’t become tainted by the mistakes, but rather see the beauty in trial and error. And when we are old and grey, I hope we will never regret what once made us happy, be it the expensive party dress your parents would disapprove of or the relationship that made you feel invincible. I hope that we can laugh about the things we thought significant and finally understand the splendor of surprise. It is a romantic notion indeed, that the people you meet are either a blessing or a lesson. And perhaps this is merely a human construction created to ease the burden of hardship. But nonetheless, sometimes you can’t help but wonder, is it better to expect the unexpected or to merely to expect nothing at all?
And with people as with fashion, it is always when we are shocked by surprise, when we experience the unexpected that we are forced to take a second glance. It is often the case that the most interesting individuals – those immensely profound people have led the most unconventional lives, and have favored stony surprise over smooth sailing. Far from perfect, they have made mistakes and most of all they have never feared the unexpected, rather they have sought surprise. Perhaps they have studied in Italy, embarked on an archaeological expedition in the mountains somewhere, or simply made the mistake of being married and divorced one too many times. Nonetheless, they have been enriched through experience, because life is fragile and people are fragile. If things were forever we would not act on impulse but deny ourselves our desires simply because we are comforted by the opportunity of a second chance.
Be not afraid to make mistakes, to establish expectation and have it eroded. Instead, seek surprise because the best lives – the best stories all have an element of surprise. And since one’s wardrobe should tell the story of their own life, one must have some unexpected twists, some avant-garde accessories, some colorful clothing. Perhaps it is a pair of head turning heels, a pair of ripped jeans that remind you of an old flame, or simply a silk scarf purchased from your travels abroad.
“I think building a wardrobe should be like compiling a scrapbook of your life – over the years you accumulate favorite pieces, like old friends, that you always come back to for their unfailing ability to make you feel safe or confident, sexy or secure, depending on what you need.” – Diane von Furstenberg
Because the best runway shows, the best presents, the best books, and the best people, are the ones that surprise you.