Like characters in a book, fashion tells a story. But with people, you never get a brand new page to start with; instead, you have to work with the writing that’s already there and build upon the existing story. People are never blank, their experiences collectively contribute to the painting of their personality. And if you’re lucky enough to find someone who sparks your creativity, you just might be able to write some of their story, because people, after all, are a product of their influences. They are always tainted, complex, and emotional, not merely black and white or good and evil like characters in a fairytale. But fairytales are not like real life – perfect and predictable, so we must be practical and precarious because often our own paths are not so smooth. The road to success, or love, or happiness is not always enchanted, sometimes it’s a lot colder – a lot more difficult. But just the way any good writer can depict reality whilst maintaining some semblance of charm, a true fashionist can make fantasy wearable by incorporating some magic into the mundane. And while critics and cynics may call fashion a glamorous enticement, a mere diversion, or a frivolous and fictional fairytale, in the end, it’s those small and arguably inconsequential simple things which serve to satisfy that often go unacknowledged. Whether it be a caramel brûlée latte by the fireplace as you watch the snow fall, a Luke Bryan song on your iPod that brings back old memories, or a beat-to-shit copy of The Catcher in the Rye that you have read, and reread – there’s nothing wrong with a little bit of escapist fantasy. Because the moment we stop dreaming – the moment we stop fantasizing, is when you’ve really hit a dead end. So live life like a fashionable fairytale because sometimes real life can get too cold to bear and you need a little bit of fantasy. And in accordance with the philosophy of fashion, here are some cold characters, frozen fairytales, and fashion fixes that will make the cold classroom, cafe, or cubicle you sit in as you read this, a little bit more of a winter wonderland. Fashion for thought?
The Princess & the Pea Coat:
Most ‘once upon a time’ stories begin with a princess as the main character and fashion’s real life equivalent is no different. The Park Avenue princess hurriedly trots along Fifth Avenue as she effortlessly hails a taxi to take her to a party celebrating the launch of the new Versace boutique. There are big city lights and billboards flashing all around her, but still you are compelled to look at her in the crowd of people. The air is bone chilling cold, as it always is at this time of the year. She is wearing black high-heeled booties, a beautiful creme coloured pea coat with a fur scarf draped over her shoulders, and a gorgeous oversized clutch. That’s the fashion fairytale – the princess and the pea coat, with New York City as her kingdom, a five floor walk-up as her castle, the taxi cab as her carriage, and most of all, an independent city girl with no need for a prince charming.
Green with envy, the velvet villain inhales sharply as she brings a lighter up to the cigarette between her full, parted lips. Although the bar is dimly lit and deserted, had you been there you would have been entertained just studying her. Gothic, ice cold and heartless, venture to the velvet underground to capture your inner villainess. Although it seemed to have been abandoned in the past, this season we are experiencing a tremendous velvet revival, from Lanvin to Balmain, designers are embracing this velvet revolution of baroque styles and embellished details. With rich colours like eggplant and burnt emerald, velvet can keep you warm and look vicious, or sweeter than red velvet cake.
Let’s face it, sometimes fashion and fiction can be a little bit more charming than the prince because some retail therapy or a fairytale ending is less likely to disappoint. Miuccia Prada and the ultimate powerful independent woman herself, Diane Von Furstenberg have graced the runways with some charming geometrical patterns. The masculine silhouettes make it easier to get the look without having to rely on a prince’s closet to raid. Because unlike fairytales, life forces us to expect the unexpected, so rely on the perfectly structured, geometrical fantasy of fashion.
Fairy Gold Mother:
She’s the kind of girl who sparkles when she walks into a room, a good person, but an even better friend. She is there to pick you up when you’re down and has the magical ability make you forget about your blue circumstances. She may not have a magic wand but there’s some fantasy in knowing she is going to be there for you when you’re knocking back vodka sodas at the local pub trying to drink away your sorrows. But what she does have, is an embellished metallic jacket, or a glittering gold sequinned clutch that is so impeccably crafted and beautiful that when coupled with her selfless, caring personality is a little bit magical itself, because people like her are so rare and really do make your cold world, a lot more warm and wonderful.
And in the end, fiction or reality, they all lived happily ever after…