Friday, August 22, 2008

So yesterday I was talking about the differences between style, glamour, chic, elegance and fashion with my friends, and I suddenly remembered, “I actually have a blog where I could be writing all this out, in fact, I created it specially for that purpose (to ramble about fashion)”! So, here I am.
What is the difference between glamour and elegance? Style and fashion?

A rather wise friend of mine once said that being called glamorous was the mark of a genuine compliment, since saying “you look amazing!” or “I looooove your shoes/dress/jacket/hair/shoes” has practically become a mandatory requirement when girls greet each other nowadays. But if someone calls you glamorous, they really mean it. True, but is glamour something I aspire towards? If I listened to my mother, of course it would be, but I have nearly perfected the artform of doing exactly what my parents least expect, so I don’t want to give in now! To me, glamour is a vintage Italian quality. It is a wonderful quality in Sophia Loren and Margherita Missoni, it epitomises Valentino, Gucci and Versace, but it’s not really something that suits me. Glamour does not suggest understated, conceptual or alternative fashion.

and how can I forget? Liz is always glamorous, especially when she’s dripping in diamonds, which would be, er...all the time!

Style. Well, that reminds me of Kate Spade tome, and of course, Vogue US. I think being called stylish is a true compliment, because it encompasses such a wide range of personal expression, but it suggests good aesthetics. I love the sartorialist, because he photographs a huge range of individuals, yet what they all have is style.

Being called fashionable is hardly a compliment; after all, many trends are unflattering and vacuous ways for unimaginative designers to make a buck or two. To quote Oscar Wilde: “fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to change it every six months”! Whilst I don’t agree with him, I can understand how someone could feel that way, seeing anyone and everyone misguidedly fling themselves upon plaid shirts like lemmings (and I recline in my gladiator sandals, like the secret trend whore/hypocritical snob I am).

Amanda peet: trend overdose

Nicole Richie
(I'm not sure where this photo is from...coco's tea party perhaps?)

she always looks very “of the moment”, but only follows trends that are in tune with her personal style and body shape.

Elegance was a quality distilled in Genevieve Antoine Dariaux’s book, with the ingenious name of...elegance. Elegance is something really rare, but when you see it, even the most unfashionable mailmen are deeply impressed. Our neighbour when I was a child was an extremely elegant woman, who always seemed to brighten everyone’s day by her presence. Elegance also seems to be something that evolves with age, whereas fashion, glamour and even style seem to tarnish with age. I think elegance is something I admire, but since I’m young, I’m a bit too experimental with fashion to be called elegant!
Audrey hepburn

oh come on, no mention of elegance goes without Audrey!

This brings me to chic – definitely a coveted compliment, but rather overused in magazines on styles which hardly deserve the adjective! Chic is definitely a quality of youth, a quality of the ingénue, the gamine. It’s no co-incidence I’m using French words – Audrey Tautou embodies my idea of chic, especially in the film Hors de Prix(I think it’s called Priceless in English).

So what’s the verdict? All these words mean different things, and really suit different people. No one word is more complimentary than any other, and since I like to play around with different styles all the time, it’s good to appreciate the advantages of all those qualities of fashion. Things have changed since Wilde’s day – the great thing about fashion today is that it also celebrates individuality and imagination.

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