Man up

There’s a common misconception about the fashion industry, it’s often viewed as a dictatorship that we all should slavishly follow – I would emphatically argue that this is not the case. Fashion is there to provide inspiration about how the express ourselves through our clothes, trends are not a tyrannical set of rules that must be abided by on pain of social exclusion. In fact doltishly following trends doesn’t equate to great style and spending a huge amount of money every season on trendy clothes does not guarantee a great look, often quite the opposite. What is misunderstood about fashion is that a collection is the visual manifestation of the designer’s imagination, it’s there to enjoy and be inspired by. If you go to a Damien Hirst exhibition does it mean that you immediately go out and pickle a shark? It most certainly does not – unless you’ve got a shark carcass and a few gallons of formaldehyde knocking around, but that’s your affair. If you can afford to buy the clothes straight of the catwalk that’s grand, but if you can’t (and let’s face it, that applies to most of the us)  you can still take the ideas and make them work for you. 

I love a trend that plays with old ideas and re-frames them in a new context – this leaves a lot of room for personal interpretation. A big look for spring is the button down shirt, in this instance designers have taken a familiar staple and played around with it to create something new. I love what Joseph Altuzzara did with a classic manly shirt and a deconstructed pencil skirt – unbuttoning it all the way down and tucking it into the waist is a genius bit of styling. I’ll be working this look with a statement high waisted skirt and a bright lip for a nonchalant evening look – although generous amounts of double sided tape will be necessary to avoid unfortunate wardrobe malfunctions. Hit up the men’s wear department for classic oversized options, Peter Wirth is particularly brilliant. Failing that, raid your husband/boyfriend/best man mate’s wardrobe for a cheap and cheerful way of rocking the look.

Button Down Shirts 1
From left to right: Altuzarra, Prabal Gurung, Vionnet SS14. All photos courtesy of Style.com
Button down shirt 2
From left to right: Alexander Wang, Anthony Vaccarello, Todds SS14