Living in New York City has shown me a different angle on dressing. Dressing not how everyone else is dressing or to attract the opposite sex but dressing as an individual, taking risks with your style and having confidence when doing so.
Melbournians definitely have style. But in New York, due to it being one of the biggest creative hubs in the world, a melting pot for fashionistas, artistic types and sharply suited Wall St bankers, the variety of dressing is enormously diverse and fascinating.
Here are a few things I have noticed and taken on board in terms of style while living in NYC.
For a long time I felt that statement jewellery or accessories were too overwhelming on my vertically challenged self. After living in New York City for a few months, I saw the way people, of all different shapes and sizes, took risks with their style and I realised there are no boundaries when it comes to dressing, only the boundaries that you put upon yourself. Once I had this revelation, I found that in fact I could wear that statement necklace or felt fedora hat which I had reserved for my taller friends. And with these accessories came the compliments.
PROPORTIONS AND LAYERING
Another aspect of style that I always left out of my style vocabulary was the play on proportions and layering. I never felt I could mix it up in that department. My pants always slim cut, my dresses always above the knee, to allow for maximum leg lengthening. I also kept layering to a minimum to eliminate extra bulk. Although I have never been too hung up about my body, I kept within these rules, leaving not much room for my creative spirit to step in. Now in New York, I play with proportions both top and bottom, I layer pieces I would never have layered before, and I have found wonderful new outfits in the process. I enjoy this new me, being experimental and creative with my style. It is freeing and I feel great.
NEW YORK STYLE TRANSLATING IN OLD MELBOURNE TOWN
I ask myself, when I am back in Melbourne, will I continue taking risks and experimenting with my style? Although Melbourne is a very stylish city, would I be stared at, dressing as I do in New York? Would it be too different?
Is different and risk taking a bad thing? Perhaps seeing a new way of dressing will be educating to the Australian eye, just as I was educated in the school of style while walking the streets of the big apple.
This new Autumn/Winter 2012 collection by Willow, another of my favourite Australian brands, challenges all those style constraints I spoke about; proportions, layering, colours, patterns and structure.