Hi guys! Not so long ago, I’ve been asked by Smartling, a translation service company that is able to translate website content into multiple languages for many famous brands, to write a post on my very own “fashion language”. The New York Fashion Week is just around the corner. The event, gathering fashionistas from all over the world, will be a wonderful showcase of many trends unique to the particular parts of the globe. That’s why Smartling decided to celebrate the multicultural aspect of fashion by asking bloggers to describe their “fashion language” or, to put it simply, the way trends from various countries “translate” into their signature style.
You all know that I’m a freak for some languages and cultures. I’ve been proclaiming my love for Russia and Great Britain countless times already. Let’s not forget about Japan and South Korea, too – the Japanese phase might have faded a bit through the years, but, being a dedicated K-pop fan, I’m very up-to-date with what’s in fashion in South Korea. What’s even better, I try to stay away from the blatant ethnic elements that might seem to tackle the cultural appropriation issue (hello, hours spent on Tumblr!) and get my style fix from trends that have naturally emerged in particular subcultures as time passed.
So, are you ready for a quick journey around the world, accompanied by my very own illustrations?
British Base: from College to Punk
Let’s begin from the very base of my outfits. As you know, my starting point is a basic smart, college uniform-like look. Blazers and men’s shirts (let’s say this aloud: women’s shirts look weird on nearly flat-chested girls with edgy shoulders) are absolute staples for me and I own lots of them. I’ll tell you a secret: I have to store blazers in another wardrobe, there are so many of them and I can’t just fold them neatly like I do with shirts!
Although the schoolgirl/boy look may have originated from many countries (Japan among them), I always take inspiration from the British private school uniforms. If a blazer doesn’t look uniform-ish enough, I just pin one of my brooches that look like a coat of arms to it.
Brit style isn’t about the neat clothes only, though! There’s that edgy, punk part of it. You’ve probably noticed just how often I wear combat boots (I used to own hot pink Dr. Marten’s boots, too, but unfortunately they have worn off right before I started blogging). They go well with everything and you can’t deny it. While we’re at punk, I have to mention that I’m totally hooked on tartan prints.
Even my favourite perfume is British - it's Burberry's Body, a unique mix of everything cool and sensual.
I’ll close the British part of this article with the most obvious thing: the abundance of Union Jack on my accessories.
If I were to write a post on my love for the Russian culture, language and the whole imagery concerning it, I’d easily break Blogspot’s post length limits (if there are any, that is), so I’ll restrict myself to today’s subject. The over-the-top faux fur coat and hat, red military coat and the mighty knee-high boots are all inspired by this little obsession. They might seem hard to style, but, somehow, they swiftly found a way to fit into my style. Besides, they definitely keep me warm during the cold days!
Sunflower, the flower associated with Russia, is present in my style in a form of a headband that I like to tie to a straw hat.
I own only one folk-related item and it’s related to Russia, too. It’s a huge red fringed scarf with traditional floral print.
I used to be a total Japan freak. No kidding. Your typical otaku stuff. The obsession is gone, but bits of it have lasted in my everyday style. Apart from the fact that I’m being told that I look like a cute Asian girl a lot, I love to borrow the elements of Japanese subcultures’ fashion. Think cute items: bear-eared bowler hats and beanies, bright colours, crazy print mixing, tacky jewellery, phone stickers… the list goes on and on.
The short period of Gothic Lolita fascination has marked my personal style, too: see the overknees, hints of lace or black platform shoes.
As a K-pop fan, I get exposed to South Korean fashion a lot (and my role model is probably Korean popculture’s most important fashionista). I absolutely love the way it mixes various contradicting trends. Baseball cap and sport shoes with a glamorous onepiece? Of course! Statement accessories with a blazer? Why not! Spikes and studs with a basic dress? Also perfectly okay! Leather pants, seemingly mismatched jewellery, beanies, casual sneakers, heavy boots and bold eyeliner also belong here. K-pop fashion is all about looking effortlessly cool and polished. Even the most famous celebrities are known for choosing their items personally, without much help from personal shoppers and stylists (and their Instagram haul photos are the proof). Isn’t it awesome? It certainly makes the fans think that they can look as good as their idols.
On a finish note, let me tell you just how much those K-pop stars adore funky hats and sunglasses… Just about as much as I do!
Deconstructing your style this way might be very interesting. It proves that what you wear is a sum of your fascinations and experiences, both old and new. Together, those little things form a bigger image – your everyday style, that is! And since it’s such an important part of every blogger’s life, it’s totally worth the time to dig a bit and find out where do those elements really come from. I’ve just brought to you the deconstructed version of my own “fashion language” – what about yours?