PLAYING PARISIAN - THE ART OF REINVENTION

Thursday, 15 June 2017 Westminster, London, UK





"Playing dress-up begins at age five and never truly ends." - Kate Spade

It's funny how when we are young, we follow this quote so faithfully, almost as if it were a life maxim, every single day. I remember when I was aged five, six, seven, and even eight and nine. I'd change who and what I wanted to be almost daily. Each day I'd change the path my life was set on; one day I wanted to be a ballerina (this was a dream revisited frequently but ultimately crushed when I was fourteen and had the harsh realisation that frankly, I was shite at ballet.) Other days I was going to be the lead in an internationally renowned girlband. I wanted to be a primary school teacher. A street dancer. A tap dancer. A contemporary dancer. The next Beyoncé (so essentially good at everything and probs the most unrealistic.) A fashion designer. A fashion journalist. The next Kate Middleton (I'm available, Harry!) A model (loooooool). A doctor. A businesswoman. An author. A lawyer. The last one, at the minute, is the plan I'm currently sticking to. (but who knows if it might change once again?)

But it's funny isn't it? When you're young, no doors are closed to you. No dream is deemed too great, too unattainable. There's something incredibly precious about the naivety of the young, for whom no rules apply and you truly can be anything you want to be.




But of course, we grow up, and we realise that life is not so simple. This post is not particularly aimed at passing judgement on this aspect of life. In reality, it would be difficult to live with the complete freedom and flakiness we have when we were young, to flit from one career path to another, to drift. Indeed, to progress in a field we all know the drill; it takes determination to stick it out, whether that's through working your way up or studying hard, or both. There needs to be a non-fickleness, one is expected to be in it for the long haul to succeed in a career.

But that doesn't mean that every area of our lives has to be so controlled, so static.

I guess personally I've harboured that sense of spontaneity and adventure of my younger self through my love of fashion.


With fashion, there really are no rules. (Well, apart from the unspoken ones - no socks with sandals, I'm looking at you, but let's brush past that, shall we?)

One aspect I've always greatly appreciated of fashion is the opportunity to reinvent. To pretend. To play dress-up. To act. To dream.

Though I feel I now have some sense of 'personal style' and general outfit combinations that I tend to stick to, I'm still very much partial to really changing it up every once in a while, and wearing something completely over the top, or completely out of my comfort zone. See it as my own little personal text, to challenge myself, if you will. 

I remember writing something similar in a piece back last Spring (link here)

"Sometimes I love to dress like a prim and proper 1950s housewife, and other days I like to pretend that I'm a Rolling Stones groupie! To me, that's what is so great about fashion. There are no real rules when it comes to personal style, and no real commitment; so if one day you want to dress like you've stepped straight out of a period drama, you can; and if the next you're not feeling that look anymore, and would rather dress like a mod or rocker from the 60s, then you can do that!"

And alas, not much has changed.



Which brings me to this outfit, in which I felt like playing Parisian. One thing you should definitely know about me is that I, along with half of the world I'm sure, am absolutely in love with Paris. There's something enchanting about the idea of getting lost in the little cobbled streets, drinking hot chocolate and eating french fancies in quaint little cafes on rainy wishy washy afternoons. Or living in a cute little apartment with a balcony looking out onto picturesque views.

My very standard life in boring old suburbia could hardly compare, and in truth, living in Paris for a year is on my Bucket list of things to do.

But until that day, that doesn't mean that I can't pretend, just for a little, that I'm part of that Parisian dream, and I can do so simply through the outfits I create.




This outfit contains components that are quintessentially 'Eva' pieces; a nice cosy knit, a classic trench and ankle boots, but just a few little extra details of the beret, the red lip and the fishnet tights - and suddenly I feel as though I'm just meant perusing the boutiques on the Champs-Élysées or riding a bicycle past the Louvre, baguette in basket.
This also proves that the old theory that just a few extra details really can push your outfit that extra mile to make it more interesting.

I guess it's rather tricky to be more 'out there' with your fashion choices for fear of looking over the top, or 'extra'. I was definitely a victim of this way of thinking. But I don't know, a recent bout of 'I don't give a fuck anymore, life's too damn short' has somewhat pushed me towards, on occasion, being a little more daring with my clothes. If you love something wear it!

If a look like this seems a little too much, then there are plenty of ways you might dial it down. Just choose one piece, the beret for instance, and simply let your imagination do the rest. Let me set the scene: you put that beret on, a patter of red lipstick and a squirt of chanel No. 5, and no longer are you walking the streets of some rainy England town. You are now a fierce, independent, sophisticated french woman who rents a tiny studio apartment with a view of the eiffel tower. You live off coffee and smoke like a chimney (something I do not advocate, btw, but when it's fantasy, why not?). You rock that red lip everyday, walking into the office with a copy of vogue in your arm and leaving a cloud of Chanel no.5 in your wake, and turning all the heads of the handsome young frenchmen as you strut about in your perfect Dior pumps.


So, I shall leave you with the words of Ralph Lauren:

"The world is open to us and each day is an occasion to reinvent ourselves."

The day is yours and the world is there for the taking, a whole realm of opportunity.
I may let my imagination run wild once more, but ah, isn't it fun to play pretend?

Do you see fashion as a vehicle for reinvention? Does an outfit you put of ever change your perception of yourself for that day? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,
Bisous <3

Eva
xxx


OUTFIT DETAILS:

Jumper: Stradivarius (Sold Out - have linked it just in case it comes back!)
Skirt: Mango (Sold Out - similar here)
Tights: Asos
Trench: Next
Boots: Saint Laurent (sold out - similar here)
Beret: Asos
Bag: Zara (Sold Out - similarish here)
Twilly: Dior

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