Edna Woolman Chase, editor in chief of Vogue magazine between 1914 and 1952, was one wise woman. She was spot on when she said that, “fashion can be bought but style one must possess.”
What would EWC say about style today? Much the same I would guess… Would she agree that unique is the new chic?
Style is a tricky concept… an indefinable quality… We all want it, but not all of us have it. Some are born with it… and others learn it.
To be chic or considered stylish… and it would seem to me that most of us have an interest in ‘chic’ because we admire the smartly dressed French woman and her way of putting it all together… has a much wider scope than it once did…
These days being unique is much to do with being chic. Style has many forms… there are no rules anymore… from the tailored to the bohemian… from the pretty to the grungy. All modes are considered stylish… When it comes to fashion at least.
The key to being stylish involves a combination of qualities. We must be unique… as in make our own interpretations, tailor what we like to what works for us. Style is ageless as is fashion… the art is in the choosing and the manipulation. Stylish does mean being chic… they are one and the same… generally if the style is rocking so is the ‘chic’…
Style is all about being who you are… being true to yourself and and expressing those qualities. Style is a physical manifestation of inherent qualities and emotions.
Let’s think about it for a moment… picture some of your favourite ‘stylish’ friends… they most likely will appear totally different to your personal style vision… yet you would consider them all to be chic.
I have an artist friend… I would consider her both stylish and chic… she is definitely unique… She is colourful, a little bohemian and wears fashion that could or would never work for me… She manages to look unique, stylish… chic… (that word again)… How she dresses is a reflection of who she is and what she is about… I love that about her.
To be truly stylish means being an original…
Copy cat looks are the easiest way to appear un-stylish. The crime of the fashion victim is that they forget to interpret ‘the look’ for themselves. I don’t imagine designers would ever expect their followers to copy straight from the runway… The runway is about trends, about inspirations and a forum for creativity. Fashion is about adaption. We aren’t all 6 feet in stockings or 112 pounds… but that doesn’t mean we can’t sport the latest… we must pick and choose…
We must interpret, for style is a language of it’s own and like all languages study and practice are involved.
The most stylish people are not necessarily the most beautiful… Personality and style go hand in hand… it doesn’t matter how fabulous or incredible someone looks… if their personality is negative, their style is wasted. Style like beauty shines from within. French Vogue editors Carine Roitfeld and the current Emmanuelle Alt are great examples… True style icons.
As confidence is the key to beauty, personality is the passport to true style.
Unique is the new chic as long as it is executed with one’s own style. There is no shame if style is learned… we can’t all be style leaders and fashion forecasters… but we can help and encourage each other. xv