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The Basic Self

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I’ve been a fan of Self-Portrait since its launch in 2013; in three short years the label’s popularity has grown exponentially. Self-Portrait is now stocked at Selfridges, Net-a-Porter, Matches and ASOS, to name but a few. I’ve heard women who like Self-Portrait branded as ‘basic bitches’ by other people who work in fashion; I take umbrage with this assertion.

‘Basic bitch’ is a pejorative, sexist term which describes a female conformist who loves all things bland, including Ugg Boots, Taylor Swift and Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes. The ‘basic bitch’ is a girl who is dismissed and objectified because of her taste for the popular and generic. It’s an insidious phrase which has slipped in through the back door and become a part of contemporary lingo. Although it’s often used in light hearted banter, ‘basic’ is a horrible expression and should fall into obsolescence. It’s also dripping in unintentional irony, as it ridicules those who are supposedly unoriginal, yet it’s a banal, unsophisticated smack-down. I prefer my insults to have a little more poetic specificity.

I don’t give a monkeys if people think I’m ‘basic’, because I dress for myself. If I like something I’ll wear it, regardless of whether it’s considered ‘outré’ or not. Also, just because something is popular, it doesn’t mean it’s not good. This skirt is from Self-Portrait’s AW16 collection; I’ve paired it with a blouse from Warehouse and heels from one of my favourite shoe designers, Lucy Choi.

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