‘What looks good and why? The many facets of fabulous fashion’ Leave a comment

Funny, isn’t it, the way some people have a natural skill when it comes to fashion and colour, while others don’t? And it has nothing, or very little anyway, to do with beauty. It’s very hard to put a finger on what makes it all work for some and not others, but I imagine the skills of good fashion designers have had quite a lot to do with it.

Of course, the demands of the fashion industry have a large part to play. They need to popularise “this year’s trends” in order to simply stay in business, and the designer who comes up with the best ideas makes the most money.

You have only to look back to English designer Mary Quant in the 1960s to see how a really good design idea doesn’t even have to be expensive to succeed. In her case it was little more than cutting 15cm off the length of a skirt and calling it a “mini”, and there was her first million made! She also had the good fortune that she was producing her designs fairly soon after the Second World War, when all the young things she designed for tended to be slim (due largely to the restrictions of recent rationing). The mini needed long, slender legs to succeed, and the life of comparative gluttony we all suffer from now was still years in the future. Her mini skirt, coupled with her famous ‘page-boy’ hairstyle, were just the extravagance that was needed at the time, and she made the best of it.

Thinking about it, I suppose a taller, slimmer person, of either sex, has a better opportunity to look good in clothes, though I really don’t know why that should be. Perhaps to the subconscious mind, taller means healthier or some other pre-historic message! Certainly a shorter person has a much harder time trying to attain that secret ‘oomph’, and they often seem to rely more on personality to create some sort of impression with their peers. Have you ever noticed how many well-known actors are often fairly short when you see them ‘in the flesh’?

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