Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Dresden Dressing

I have just noticed a pattern in my holiday posts - I always seem to title them with the name of a place, and people read them expecting a detailed tourist guide and photos of that place, only to be disappointed by photos of (mostly) me. I vow this is entirely coincidental, and promise I'm not as narcissistic as it may seem - although some may argue having a blog is a narcissistic thing in itself. Real life sees me pottering about with a halo of frizzy hair, and glasses (which I almost always take off for photos). People can pay me compliments about my clothes, but rarely about my appearance, and it is only through this blog I've found out I have "nice hair" and "lovely eyes" - two revelations I have been blissfully unaware of until recently.

Yes, there are people who genuinely take the time and effort to look impeccable every day from floppy hat to toe, but I doubt that all people who blog (since London Fashion Week I have developed a curious distaste for the word "blogger") commit to these ludicrous standards of "perfection" day-in-day-out. In their posts, they post photos of themselves at their best - a very natural instinct of upholding a certain image. This is a good and bad thing: bad because people who see those photos retreat to their bathroom floors and weep that they are not beautiful enough, and cake themselves in make-up the following morning; good because it means that there is a lot of stellar content to intrigue and magnetise the online reader.

To contradict myself slightly, I don't think of blogging entirely as a facade, but rather a 'heightened reality' of the author. In words or photographs, I think it is important to stay true to oneself, and wear/say things you think are right. Otherwise, you risk obtaining a Jekyll and Hyde-esque split personality disorder. But then, most wouldn't want to document mundane things such as loitering by the fridge in your pyjamas, or snuggling on the sofa waiting for Downton Abbey to start (with no shame, I confess to the latter unreservedly), either... Returning to Fashion Week at Somerset House - in a place over-saturated with avant-garde outfits, with colours and eye-wateringly expensive shoes, it was almost cathartic to spot Hilary Alexander standing in a corner after Daks, dressed in simple blazer, shift and comfortable flats. The important people wear couture, the very important don't give a flying cahootle - because they have slaved enough to be respected and adored for exactly who they are. And yet... the meandering steep career path one climbs to earn that respect naturally calls for a meticulous upkeeping of a certain false image - in other words dressing to look the part - before shedding your skin and becoming yourself when you get to the top. 

I don't claim that I know the ins and outs of the industry - I'd like to think what I'm writing is ignorant and not true, and that most people are entirely unswayed and stick to what they like when it comes to dressing no matter how high up they are. It is, perhaps, just an impression I got at Fashion Week, my eyes heaving in despair at the sight of yet another Topshop dress worn with that exact same "messy" centre parting... But it got me thinking about appearances in general; for instance, where does one draw the line between "tailoring" ourselves to the outside world to fit in, and the old saying that nothing in an individual is entirely his own but borrowed from people, thoughts, ideas and other influences that surround us? 

Sometimes, when I visit a certain place, I do like to dress up especially to fit with the atmosphere that I imagine it possesses. For instance: Dresden. It was a bit of a trek from the Czech Republic (well, only two hours), but I've been waiting for that trip all holiday because of galleryisms, and seeing the architecture again... I wanted my outfit to be distinctively "arty", so my whipping out my sketchbook at every other painting in the Old Masters' Gallery and The Albertinum would look slightly more justified. Normally, I'd never wear a skirt this long, but thinking about the outfit made me choose something I wouldn't normally wear, and thus not being myself actually brought out my tastes in a new light. So perhaps sometimes it's not so bad to step away from whom you define/are accustomed to as yourself, and bask in the spotlight of the spontaneous and unexpected! Being yourself is not as simple as it sounds, if your style is anything like mine and constantly fluctuates from granddad jumpers to turbans and forties dresses... Is it more joyous, after all, to be a multicoloured caterpillar, than morphing into a glorious butterfly that never changes its form?

Glasses, 3.1 Phillip Lim
T-Shirt, Aubin and Wills
Skirt, vintage
Belt, vintage
Clutch, vintage
Shoes, thrifted
Necklace, gift


  1. super duper cute! i'm obsessed! xx

  2. Your lines here gave a lot to think about us people who blog, of course there are good and bad things about it, but I specially love those geniune girls who post both they best looks and their not so good ones. Love your skirt is really pretty, those eyecat shaped glasses are awesome!

    Cess O. <3 The Outfit Diaries

  3. Great outfit - I really love your portfolio clutch.


  4. I think you speak a lot of truth. Everytime I see a blogger who looks amazingand makes me want to weep at my own plainness I think of them putting the bins out! We're none of us so beautiful and well dressed we don't need to take the bins out every week!

    It's true that when I read blogs sometimes it feels like everyone is having a better time than me, but then, I try to think 'well, I won't have the exciting life they have sitting at home feeling sorry for myself' and then I try and go out and do something beautiful - even if it's just going to a cafe and taking a photo of my coffee and cake. I guess I try and document the good things in my blog so that I'll remember them, and to remind myself how lucky and happy I truly am.

    Phew, that was a long comment - thank you for your thought provoking post!

  5. I would never put a "bad" photo on my blog, by which I mean one of me looking particularly disgusting, but funny ones are acceptable. I think this only because the internet is a very... I don't know, you put yourself up for a lot of abuse every time you click the "publish" button. I want to be proud of my posts, and try to ensure that the quality is as high as it can be (ahem, photo booth posts aside, they fall into the amusing category). I do look at other's blogs (yours included Dina!) and despair, some bloggers are so ridiculously pretty, but I also know that they're real people, particularly since I've met up with some.
    I want to go to LFW next time, but am simultaneously dreading it... xxx

  6. such pretty photos! i like the skirt!

    xo zebra and meerkat

  7. beautiful!! amazing blog!!i'm following you!!if you like mine, do the same!!!!

  8. These photos are lovely-like the hazy sunshine in them :)

  9. WOW you are so your hair and your style!!! Great outfit ;)

    Evi xoxo

  10. LOVE the quality of these photos, very beautifully shot! <3

  11. why do you take your glasses off? those make you look so cute! and you do have awesome hair.
    and you're an excellent writer--i can agree fully with everything you say.

  12. I love these sunshine pictures and your very original skirt :)
    A pleasure seeeing you!


  13. Adorable outfit! Perfect for a holiday and I LOVE your glasses! Geek Chic all the way!

    Girl about Town XxX

  14. Lovely outfit, I love the photo effects you've used x

  15. I've finally managed to read this really excellent post of yours - you're right, we have both touched on a remarkably similar theme in musing about the version of oneself that is chosen to be shown on a blog. (Oh and I agree about the slight antipathy to the word 'blogger'!)
    But now onto the more superficial - you were unaware of how gorgeous you are?? I hope you are fully cognisant of it now - becasue you are a beauty, outside and inside truly.

  16. This is a truly inspirational post. I always love a good read, particularly early on a Friday morning!! And your style of writing is effortlessly intriguing.

    To some extent blogs are a natural evolution of the magazine industry, where by magazines were once the first source to all knowledge, they now come second in hand to the digital and online medium. In consequence to this, I think it's only natural (&important) for some blogs to have followed in the footsteps of the industry, by using flawless images in the same way magazines do; dictating an aspirational lifestyle and providing a chance for escapism. In contrast to this, it is also refreshing to find those blogs where people don't take themselves too seriously, and keeping it on a level to which people can relate to.

    The amazing thing about the web is, there's room for everyone; the perfectionists and the realists, just depends which one you'd prefer to be!

  17. I am truly obsessing over your skirt! <3 The length and print are both gorgeous!

    Lost in the Haze

  18. I agree with what Rosalind said: the surprise that you don't see that you are beautiful, in every aspect. I noticed that when I shot you: I couldn't quite capture how beautiful you are in reality.

    And I share your feeling about that word 'blogger'. It's such an ugly word, I feel.

    Hope you're well.. been thinking of you. finally a few moments to catch up, and your photos of the Frieze Art fair are great - we didn't go, and this was the next best thing. Hope to speak soon- send an email please if you get a chance.

    best jill xox

  19. this post is so on the money and the way you write is very engaging.

    J x


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