We crave to look good
Believing in the magic of style
And the adventures that are attached
The right style will look effortless
Worn with pride and confidence
Comfortable and complete
Embraces every curve and quirk
Places a smile on your face
The complex, multi-meaning being.
Finding our place and voice in society can be daunting but fashion plays a vital role in establishing our individuality. To be able to construct and express our identities effectively, we need to reflect and understand our essence. Especially in metropolitan cities, where we mingle with crowds of strangers, having only moments to impress them. Fashion goes beyond mere clothing, it can be defined as a cultural phenomenon. Visual communication of symbols, statements and meanings about our identities. The pop culture that excites us, what social groups we belong to and even our economic positions. When fashion isn’t used to express a message, it focuses on functionality, practicality and innovation. If you took a minute to listen, you can discover many social facts through the art of fashion.
What comes to your mind when you hear the word fashion? Eccentric personalities, designs fit for the catwalk or the elusive industry that’s finally accepting diversity. For me, the simple answer is individuality. As it’s an art that allows us to externalise our personality, in order for the world to perceive us in the way we desire. Every morning a blank canvas greets us, waiting for creativity to unfold. It depends on our mood, the occasion and what message we wish to scream to the world that day. Inspiration lies everywhere, in the beautiful coloured houses to the vibrant people chilling on the block. My inspiration comes from three identities that ultimately shape my personal style. Communicating various facets like ethnicity, gender and youth culture. I wave my flag for all three. They may not be perfect but that’s what represents me – the complex, contradicting creative.
the royal stance full of vibrancy, all held in a name, kaur.
Let’s take it back to the roots, the motherland, the culture that raised us to become successful individuals. When it comes to fashion my admiration of colour comes from my Punjabi heritage. Entranced by the bright colours, bold prints and glamour. It’s empowering to rock an outfit inspired by the culture, whether it’s a traditional Patiala suit or statement desi jewellery.
Style has always been a social experience as it brings compliments, questions and inspiration but we need to do more. The stylist in me adores the clothing, but the message is more important. The generation of today are glued to their devices, simply looking for likes, but what’s that solving? Before you write off a culture, learn the history, sometimes the colours are there to mask a dark past. For example, the massacres in India, Jallianwala Bagh massacre (1919), Partition of India (1947) and Sikh Genocide (1984).
influenced by the culture and the music that surrounds it.
Easily identifiable through oversized graphic t-shirts, gold hoops, bucket hats and the trendiest sneakers. Think back to the 90s, icons like TLC, 2Pac and the Fresh Prince. Streetwear will always be relevant, the only thing that changes is how designers interpret the art. From puffa jackets to the revival of clothing laced in logos. Hip-hop adapts, caters to the audience, so much so, that there’s a piece for everyone.
Changing the narrative, focusing on the attitude that accompanies hip-hop than the actual style. The streets teach unwavering confidence, the power to speak up, challenge the status quo and pursue a dream relentlessly. In addition to the positives, we need to be aware of the negatives. The crime, poverty, abuse and gang-related violence. One thing to remember as knife crime increases in London, the streets will never love you. Gang-gang should be on a slogan t-shirt, not which side you’re representing.
the female version of a hustler.
In the words of Oscar Wilde, you can never be overdressed or overeducated. This identity revolves around femininity, glamour and luxury. Focusing on what makes me happy, whether that’s sequins, block colours or a bold power suit. The only difference is I aim to achieve glamour through savvy style means. Luxury items although beautiful, come with large price tags. I would rather wear high-street purchases in strategic ways. Good style doesn’t have to cost millions, it’s a personal preference. Be savvy with your purchases, live in your means and don’t jump onto every trend. Imagine the pain when your white Gucci bag is covered in wine and you’re still paying off the shopping debts.
What identities shape your personal style?