It’s a gruelling process…this thesis thing. It tests every fabric of your existence. Not an easy task, and I find myself needing momentary breaks in the midst of it all. I start to scan the Internet for fashion blogs, news from around the world, websites in other languages, pictures of European escapades. Longing to escape. Knowing that I shouldn’t before I finish. Sigh.
So in my quests I came across The Sartorialist. Not to say I came across. That’s not what happened, I found it again for the first time. I’ve always been a fashion blog reader. My new addictions are Nerd Boyfriend and Garance Doré. Yet, what I find is missing is a blog about Montreal street style. No one’s capturing some of the unique personal expressions of fashion on our own streets. All you see is New York, Paris, Milan, London, Los Angeles, Chicago…Toronto. You never see Montreal on the map. Well, if you read NightLife, you see some of the quirky (and not so fashionable, sorry, I’m a snob) styles on some dead-end streets. I’m not sure where they find these guys, they’re unique, but I’m not so sure about their style.
Of course, I can’t take on fashion photography right now, as much as I’d like to try to find the perfect SLR and start snapping away at all of the fabulous street looks on Saint-Laurent, Saint-Catherine and that corner of René-Lévesque and Peel (so chic), I just don’t have the time. I was sitting one day at a café and decided to people watch. Here are the categories of style that I noticed:
the fashion victims.
often found stumbling in heels, wearing too many brand names, trying to look older than they are, very self-aware although no one’s noticing them, not too confident and hoping that their clothes will hide their insecurities.
very confident, not self-aware, looking forward, walking tall, the originals are the ones who aren’t defined by their clothes because they’re the ones giving their clothes meaning. they stand out because they’re unique and they don’t care what anyone thinks. they don’t look weird. they look fabulous. no one knows how they get that air of mystique and how they manage to look dashing in a pair of old jeans and a white t-shirt. they walk to their own beat and they aren’t afraid to face the world around them.
the trying-too-hard not to try-too-hard.
i know you had to read that a couple of times in order to understand what i mean. they try TOO hard not to look like they’re trying to hard – so they put extreme amounts of effort into making their style look effortless, and instead come out looking sloppy and in need of bathing. in fact this folk can often be found giggling on their cell phones, wearing pants they bought in 1997 from Dynamite and thinking that they will get all the attention they require just because they’re too good-looking to put any effort into their look. even when they’re not.
the owners of style.
these people have mastered style. there are no causal attributions that can be made about this…we don’t know why. sometimes it’s because they have been in executive positions in the garment industry for a long time, sometimes it’s because they write for Vogue, sometimes it’s because they’re related to Marc Jacobs. and sometimes it’s because they have the eye for it, the knack for it, the talent for it – to achieve sartorial elegance by wearing what suits them to the tee. their style is often a mixture of classic (permanent fashion that never goes out of style) and modern (what’s “trendy” right now) and they often carry the most exquisite purses or briefcases. or even just one item that makes them stand out – even if it’s a pair of gold Cartier cufflinks. you can’t be them if you’re not already them…
the monkey-see monkey dos.
these guys…or should i say girls…are often seen wearing the same style day in and day out. they look like anyone else in the city. they dress to blend. it’s as if they don’t want to be seen. the city has a sort of protection, I guess. a means of camouflage. for girls who are trying not to stand out. as long as you dye your hair brown, wear black leggings and a long t-shirt and carry a black Longchamp bag, you are every other girl. i just gave you the formula…it wasn’t always like this. before it was skinny jeans and Uggs…we’ll see if this changes. i’ll keep you informed, oh conformists.
these ones travel to Europe pretty often. they go on shopping sprees to New York pretty often too. they’re the trend-setters. believe it or not, you may be following their lead without even knowing it. it’s the way they hold their iPhone that makes you want to get one. it’s the way they put on their M.A.C. eyeshadow that makes you want to splurge on eye makeup. it’s the way they hold their fake Louis-Vuitton that makes you think – fake isn’t so bad, afterall, is it?
these people, by their very appearance, stand up against anything that was ever known as fashionable. they revolt against centuries of beauty and tailoring. they defy the meaning of style. you know what i’m talking about. you and i would both call What Not To Wear on them.
there’s no other way to explain this look. there’s no excuse for it. it’s tight. it’s unseemly. it’s too short, too small, too ridiculous looking to be worn by anyone in their right mind. i would start a business (this is just a wannapreneurial idea) just handing out free full-length mirrors if it would ensure that i’d never see this in my line of vision again. please go home. and change.
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