Fashion as a whole is something that I believe has changed my life, where an illustrious industry has managed to manipulate my thoughts and experiences from the day I set my eyes on my local shopping centre, where I had the burning need to prove others wrong and show them that dreams can come true. Fashion to me is one of the most important elements of my short seventeen years and without it I don't believe that I would have turned out to be the person I am today.
I can pinpoint exactly when my heart started to beat faster and my mind became transfixed on the importance of dressing well and following trends, it was early 2007 and I was reading gossip magazine New! which my mum occasionally left lying round the house. I didn't know it at the time, but I'd reached the 'chic or freak' pages, famous for criticising eccentric models and high street horror stories, yet I was fascinated by the daringness of the famous figures and the happiness they achieved from dressing how they wanted to, even if in the magazines' eyes they looked downright ugly. It started to rule my head as the thought of school turned into the thought of a non uniform day where I could design and dream up brand spanking outfit ideas for pretty much all of my class, where the importance of a non uniform day became the highlight of the term. It also signified the ending of the academic year, which may have added to the excitement and sheen of it all yet my heart still believes that without having the freedom to express myself for one day a term I'd have gone stir crazy.
As I've grown up, I've taken the ability to mix and match outfits one step further, with the creation of my blog and the start of sixth form, where every day is a clean portrait ready to be painted on, where I should be ready to make my mark. Over the past year I've had fashion disasters, (read: midi dresses after Pizza Hut) fashion favourites and most importantly, I've felt free. I felt as though there were no constrictions in my being and that teamed with the right pair of boots and a good lipstick, I could take over the world. The saying always was "every day is a fashion show and the world is your runway," and the majority of the time this was the mode of life I stuck to.
Alas, life changes. I've recently started my final year of A Levels at a prehistoric school who have the guts and determination to stifle the loves and desires of its own pupils, thereby abandoning the creative needs that their pupils want and need in order to survive. They tightened the dress code.
Okay - yes, I'm exaggerating though the moment the headed slip of paper popped through our letter box enlightening both parent and student about the changes to the dress code, my whole ideology of sixth form fell apart. I no longer felt free and able to make my own choices. Coupled with other difficult factors at the time left me feeling as though some superior figure now held the keys to my own brain and it was one of the scariest emotions of my life. And although this incident left me reeling, it allowed me to understand how much one simple word has carried me through my life. And guess what it is - fashion.
Fashion is the epitome of my whole life and judging by recent situations, its impact will live with me for the rest of my life. Without one slight word beginning with F, I don't think my personality would have developed the way it has and I know for a fact that my confidence would have suffered dramatically. As Ken Barlow always says, "I am the only constant in your life" and for the most part, this is the only way I can describe one overwhelming semantic field full of materialism and laughter: fashion.
Disclaimer: This post was originally written for Loveable Vogue.