Monday, September 28, 2009


Do you like fashion? We have "fashion designers", "clothing designers", "dressmakers" and "tailors" selling fabrics at Stash reHash .

Once upon a time I liked fashion so so much I went and studied it. I had a very elegant older tutor who often stressed that fashion and looking good were not the same thing, and that fashion and style were not the same thing. She believed you often had to choose whether you wanted to look fashionable or whether you wanted to look good as sometimes these were mutually exclusive. At the time I was young, pert, skinny and in love with fashion and had no clue what she was talking about. I probably just thought the 80s equivalent of "whatever".

Twenty years of gravitational assault and two children later and with multiple competing priorities for my cash, I am now acutely aware of what my fashion tutor meant. I realise that what I actually like is not fashion at all. What I do like is our ability to use clothes, shoes, accessories etc to say who we are and how we are feeling.

So these days when I see fashion week on the telly or I go to designer boutiques I have quite different thoughts from in the past.

Firstly, I think "I could get all four downpipes fixed for the price of that jacket"/"I could get my son new orthotics for the price of that top"/"I could get my daughter's teeth straightened for the price of that coat".

Secondly, I think that to buy new stuff I'd have to biff some perfectly serviceable thing out and the waste aspect of this perpetual consumerism irks me.

Thirdly, I think how most of the super fashionable clothes look, well, kind of silly anyway. Exact replicas of the clothes my fellow students and I made decades ago are now back on the runways and in the shops making the next generation of skinny girls' bottoms look enormous and their arms look like salamis.

So I have a wee trundle around in Interwebland and a snigger at Fugly, go back to mending or altering some old vintage thing and again think about the differences between looking fashionable, looking good and looking stylish.

And if I get tempted and buy some fabric at Stash reHash and make myself a shiny shoulder-padded, pirate-pant jumpsuit, please chase me and set fire to it.

The handbag above is by Enid Collins. Sometimes her bags are in fashion and sometimes they are so out of fashion that they end up in op-shops, but I will always love them.


  1. Look!