From taboo to trend

In the past, the style conscious were restrained by the threat of committing a fashion faux-pas and being the victim of vicious scrutinies.

Fast forward a few decades and we are now being reminded that fashion can be fun. Colour clashing and clever layering can be stylish. Fashion flows freely and the rules — there simply are no rules.

Dressing on a tight budget can mean limited options, and with this it is tempting to stick with what you know. Rather than experimenting with what there is crammed into our wardrobes, we choose the same bargain high street label and pray that there won’t be more than three others wearing the same outfit that day.

It is high time we embraced individuality and adapt to the unruly revolution that is the fashion industry.


Part of an apparent fashion revolution means that traditional rules can now be broken. Photo: Kirsty O'Connell

One who agrees that rebellion is most definitely the future of fashion is Roberta Jacklin, owner of Agatha, a Lincoln boutique: “I don’t feel as though there are any rules in fashion anymore, and if there are, well we break them all the time.”

Jacklin believes modern day fashion is purely about having the confidence to experiment with different styles in order to create an individual and unforgettable look.

“We can display combinations of different styles in the window that at that time wouldn’t be particularly appealing, but six months down the line when it becomes ‘fashionable’ customers remember where they saw it first.”

Should we stop listening to those who forbid patent leather in the winter, say no suede in the summer, and dare to wear denim on denim? Is it high time we used and abused taboo in all its glory? This season appears to be the perfect opportunity to rebel.

The style has been heartily named “Dressing-Up Box” by Vogue, in which we are to ignore every rule of fashion ever learnt and play until our hearts are content. The trend rebels against the minimalistic forms that have dominated the year, in an attempt to use the imagination to conjure up new looks that are almost theatrical.

Those bright and busy patterns hidden away at the back of the wardrobe can be let loose once again allowing people to mix and match like they have never dared before.

The trick, according to stylists, is to begin with one item and work around it experimenting with a variety of colours, patterns and accessories. Roberta advises mixing different styles and working with layering.

“Something like a sequined dress with leather boots, or a blouse with a checkered shirt underneath,” she suggests.

From now on it is not about what is correct to wear, but instead what you can pull off. With the right attitude and accessories, you’ll be playing up to the part like a flamboyant fashion pro.

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