Original style is something that bloggers covet, Pinteresters pin, and Japanese magazines dedicate pages to dissecting. It’s that special something. In a world in which we are constantly inundated with trends and have immediate access to every moment in visual history at the click of a mouse …where has the originality gone? Has all this access stifled personal style, when something can be traced and tagged and documented to the point of annihilation? Surprisingly, yes. Has all this inundation dulled us to what we innately might be aesthetically drawn to? Yes. Are we drawn to particular pieces because we have seen someone wearing them somewhere on the Web and we want to try her persona on for size? Yep. Do you actually like it? Are you trying to be that image you saw of that girl contrapposto in the park, wearing that Unif dress with rainbow hair, or does that look actually make you feel that special something inside? Or does it make you feel like it’s some sort of club you want to belong to? That special something is a feeling we all chase in hearing new music, seeing new fashion, experiencing new art. It makes us want to emulate it because it gives us the power of feeling brand-new. In our POSSO Universe, that’s what we believe is the ultimate power of fashion and music: wanting to feel continually like a better version of yourself. ’Cause life’s all about evolution, right?
Also: Instagram. How many times a day do you check it? You’ve got 24/7 tabs on your homies around the globe, and you follow those Insta-famous fashionistas, who everyone else does, too. It’s the new TV—without commercials (at least for now). From taglines to brands to outfits, Instagram has changed the style-scape so people can garner “likes” and get press. Duh, right? But it’s also letting what’s original slip through the cracks—those organic touches that actually start trends and spark other people to incorporate someone’s take on fashion and make it their own. Oftentimes, huge bloggers and Instagramers aren’t really pushing new, undiscovered brands or found trends but are instead pushing big, corporate brands that have approached them because they want to leverage their following for “organic” marketing. Smart business, but… what about doing a little extra work and escaping into your own world outside of all that?
Some of these huge bloggers have the most boring, basic-girl style. Why are you following her again? She’s watering down your creative consciousness with her corporate agenda and making you just as basic as she is. She doesn’t get inspired when she dresses in the morning. She makes business decisions. She pulls what has been sent to her and tries to come up with an outfit concept that she can tolerate enough to allow her boyfriend to photograph her. Where did the originality that lit the first spark go? We believe that there is a balance here, and hidden in that balance is the art of style. We like to push brands whose philosophies we back, start-up fashion labels that are doing something different, and weird stuff that we find on the road that inspires us.
So we think it’s all about those little touches that make your outfit yours and you. Where we like to find those touches is outside of the box: in vintage stores (obvs), Hollywood stripper stores, truck stops, and mom stores, like Chico’s, where animal print roams freely. That’s just us; maybe you like hunting around grandpa stores or Mexican swap meets. The key is to keep your eyes open all the time and to not let your creative spirit get dampened by what you are being visually inundated with. Don’t forget those instincts you had when your very first fashionable flower bloomed. Sheep have the instinct to follow, so be a wolf girl. The key: Get real with yourself. This is how you are presenting your badass self to the world. I’ve found the best jewelry at gas stations, high-waisted “shorts” (a.k.a. underwear) at a dollar store, and sunglasses in the toy section of Rite Aid. “Are those Prada?”
OK, let’s wrap this up with our Five Commandments of Personal Style:
1. Know what’s at the heart of your personal style. Be the thesis of who you are presenting to the world.
2. Go find the root of that style, where it originated, and dig up the cheaper version or the vintage version—that piece that no one else has and that does it better than the original.
3. Know how to dress for your body. Don’t hop on trends that don’t suit your thesis, baby. Those are tangents, and they usually lose people’s attention.
4. Make shit and get crafty. Buy some cheap stilettos and hot glue the top strap with part of a feather boa (this is our next project).
5. Shop everywhere and never discriminate. Get your costume shop on. What’s up, Home Depot? How about that cookie cutter from Sur La Table as a pendant or Rodarte-esque hairpin? The possibilities are endless, really.
More than ever, we have access to fashion resources and inspiration high and low. Don’t let our visual culture make you a blogged-out drone. Don’t dress like an Intermix or Forever 21 mannequin. It’s human nature to want to assimilate and be a part of some bigger culture. Now that we are globally connected, let’s not forget that we are also individuals, each expressing a unique experience. Evolution never happened by following the herd.
Photos: Courtesy of POSSO