Sunday, January 31, 2010

Style Secrets: Symbol of Style

“Create your own visual style…let it be unique for yourself and yet identifiable for others.”
Orson Welles

Darlings, I’m not one for beating around the bush so lets guilelessly get down to business here. Admit it, there is nothing more simple than spotting a style that mesmerizes you and immediately copying it. Perhaps you adore Blair Waldorf’s wide array of sensational oversized headbands; or maybe you can’t get enough of Bettie Page’s bangs, or Olivia Palermo’s constant incorporation of statement necklaces into her daily look. As we all know, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” but it can also work against us in making us lose all semblance of personal style.

Don’t get me wrong my loves; there is absolutely no harm in drawing inspiration from our style icons in terms of the way we dress, but establishing our own distinct form of personal style seems far more fabulous. After all, you are not the only one imitating Serena van der Woodsen’s tousled tresses or Dree Hemingway’s slightly rebellious tomboy chic; there are millions of you out there, making it quite easy to find yourself lost in the crowd. Allowing your personal style to wind up on a missing person’s poster hanging haphazardly upon the sliding glass doors of a supermarket is an absolute no-no; therefore, the time has come to personalize your look.

Incorporating a symbol that is all yours into your wardrobe is the easiest way to stand out from the followers; to shout to the world that you are a true individual, without so much as opening your Peek-A-Boo glossed pout; to create an emblem that instantly makes people think of you, and only you. Who knows; by this time next week someone could, very likely, be mimicking your newly-developed trademark style!

Skin Deep There is no question that creating a signature style can be quite the intimidating task – especially in the beginning stages. One very rarely knows where to start, and needs time to evaluate what they want their look to say about them. While you’re hemming and hawing over this particular predicament, weighing the options of effusing sophistication or playfulness, ruggedness or romantics in your daily look du jour, turning to beauty is oftentimes the most accessible way to begin your foray into finding your symbol of style.

Beauty is synonymous with the presence of a lifelong best friend. It is always there to boost your confidence or cheer you up after a bad day with the simple application of a bit of Just Pinched Instant Blush Tint adorning the apples of your cheeks or a mere swipe of Make It Big Lash Plumping Mascara about your lashes to make your eyes truly pop. When it comes to perusing a beauty ritual as your trademark, however, it is essential that you keep the mantra “Go big or go home” in mind.

“An image is not simply a trademark, a design, a slogan or an easily remembered picture. It is a studiously crafted personality profile of an individual, institution, corporation, product or service.”
Daniel J. Boorstin

A trademark built around beauty must be over the top, ostentatious, and, if you’re truly bold, slightly outlandish. Sticking to neutral tones or subtle shades is easily forgettable; your dazzling logo must be anything but! You want something that people will remember; an image which will stay emblazoned in the minds of everyone – from old acquaintances to new friends and foes alike. Hence the reason why dramatics are in order!

Use beauty looks from eras past as your muse. Think pixie hairstyles like Mia Farrow in Rosemary’s Baby or Edie Sedgwick in Poor Little Rich Girl; embrace dramatic eye makeup like spider-lashes and heavy kohl liner of the sixties; mix and match bright colors to create depth and smoldering seduction; or have a little fun with hair color to reinvent yourself. One thing to remember is not to get caught up in wanting to shock people with your beauty regimen. The key to being satisfied with your signature is being comfortable. If your personality is lost beneath layers of bright shadows, and pounds of hairspray that scream someone else you’ll be disappointed in the results. Adhere to your personal likes and dislikes to put your best beauty tricks forward and truly tantalize with your trademark!

Taste the Rainbow Dolls, even if you are amongst the class of people who feel a desire to dabble in a variety of styles, changing your look on a daily basis in a fashion akin to a chameleon switching his shade to blend in with his surroundings, do not fret…you are still able to create a trademark that represents who you are; you merely have to build it around something other than a fervor for frilly skirts or cravings for cute crop tops. It is times like these when we must willingly regress back to childhood, and ask ourselves the age old question… “What’s your favorite color?”

“It’s beauty that captures your attention; personality which captures your heart.”
Roy R. Gilson

It’s completely true; one of the simplest forms of satisfying your desire for a signature style is by tasting the rainbow and selecting one shade that embodies everything about who you are. In grade school we bickered with one another over what color was the absolute best, the crème de la crème of Crayola offerings that worked wonders in any piece of art we put down on paper (I was partial to Sea Foam Green myself); now, in young adulthood, we must do precisely the same thing, only instead of being used to decorate a doodle drawn in the margins of our Lisa Frank notebook during history class, we are adorning our bodies in such a hue!

When selecting a color as your trademark you must be able to distinguish between what you love, and what you look good in. Refrain from choosing green, even if you adore it, if it makes your pallor look pasty; at the same time, do not pick yellow simply because it looks good on you. Look for a color that flatters your figure, and makes you happy all at once. Bottom line…you cannot have one without the other; therefore, search until you find perfection. And once you have chosen your signature shade? Oh please, that’s easy darlings; never walk out the door without at least a smidgen of that color accoutering your body – it is your trademark, after all!

The Power of the Accessory If you have resisted the lure of the accessory for this long I truly commend you; ‘tis not an easy task. Accessories are to fashion what miniature marshmallows and whipped cream are to hot chocolate…a complete and utter necessity. They have the ability to instantly add personality, volume, and dimension to your style; essentially breathing life into your look du jour. For this reason alone, they are one of the most powerful staples for creating a trademark all your own.

“Style is an expression of individualism mixed with charisma. Fashion is something that comes after style.”
John Fairchild

It was Coco Chanel who said “It is the unseen, unforgettable, ultimate accessory of fashion that heralds your arrival and prolongs your departure.” Truer words have never been spoken. Choosing an accessory as the piece de resistance of your personal style is a fabulous, fashion-forward way to celebrate individuality, as they are widely available in a multitude of shapes, sizes, colors, and textures; and, the true icing on the cake, are oftentimes quite inexpensive so you can indulge in a few pieces to keep your look fresh and fun, never boring or mundane!

Seek out an accessory that is completely comfortable, and can be worn year-round; but don’t lose sight of the fact that, as a trademark, it must be clearly visible to people. Wearing barely there stud earrings on a daily basis easily create a hint of sparkle, but completely lack the ability to make a big enough impression on someone where they would instantly attribute earrings to you as an individual. Be more audacious and cheeky in your selection. If you want rings to be your signature, forgo thin bands and instead embrace cocktail rings that are large and in charge like House of Harlow 1960’s Peacock Cocktail Ring or Noir Jewelry’s Disco Deco Cocktail Ring. If scarves are more your style, choose ones with memorable aesthetics like Eugenia Kim’s Angela Chunky Braided Scarf, or pretty designs like Deepa Gurnani’s Rainbow Scarf. Remember darlings, it is your responsibility to choose an accessory that will keep people talking long after you’ve vacated the room!

“A great trademark is appropriate, dynamic, distinctive, memorable and unique.”
Primo Angeli

Fancy Feet Never underestimate the power of the shoe. Many believe that, given the fact that they are strapped upon your feet, the lowest possible region of your body, fabulous shoes go unnoticed. Darlings, this estimation could not be further from the truth. Take it from someone who surveys a person’s ensemble from the bottom up; shoes are of the utmost importance, and, as sad as it may sound, are oftentimes more memorable than one’s face. Hence the reason why they are a wondrous form of fashion to curl up with when creating your claim to style fame!

An important thing to remember when electing to make a form of shoe your signature style is the itty bitty fact that you must choose something that retains the versatility to operate in any given situation you encounter – be it a first date, job interview, or cocktail party; whilst being available in a multitude of designs and aesthetics so that you can stay true to your desired logo at all times without tiring of it.

“Fashions fade, style is eternal.”
Yves Saint Laurent

Boots, as much as I adore them, may work with leggings, jeans, dresses, and skirts, but they honestly don’t make the cut in terms of establishing themselves as a trademark, for cocktail parties and evening affairs are remiss about welcoming them with open arms (though, truth be told, I have attempted to wiggle my way around this unwritten rule countless times – all to disastrous results, mind you). No, when seeking signature style of the shoe, it is best to look towards ballerinas like Antik Batik’s Kiwi Cotton Ballet Flats with Beads or Pour La Victoire’s Juliet Stud Flats, and pumps such as Luxury Rebel’s Jenny Haircalf Booties or Pelle Moda’s Wren Peep Toe Pumps on Double Platform. These two styles proffer the ability to don a different color, texture, or aesthetic 365 days a year; and are the ideal item to build entire ensembles around!

Adored Accoutrements Kittens, who on earth led you to believe that you had to select a hue or particular add-on to represent you as your very own trademark? A signature is what you make it; thus it is your decision what form it takes on and how you translate it to the world. And one of the very best ways of communicating your personal style, if you hadn’t already guessed, is by embracing a type of clothing that you would be incapable of living without!

Like shoes, selecting a style of dress that screams “your name here,” is one of the most multifaceted ways to clinch your autobiographical attire. Infatuated with dresses? Make flirty frocks such as Tibi’s Long Sleeve Dress your moniker. Incapable of resisting tights? Allocate pretty legwear like SPANX’s Swiss Dot Tights as your style namesake. Constantly tempted by tunics? Don’t be frightened to wear one like Kite and Butterfly’s Ruffle Caftan everyday! A trademark is specific to you and you only; therefore, selecting a well-loved piece to represent your charming character is a foolproof way of establishing pure bliss.

“Style is a magic wand, and turns everything to gold that it touches.”
Logan Pearsall Smith

Tricks of the Trade Now, I am most certainly not one for being a downer or ruining anyone’s fun – especially when it comes to fashion; but I feel that it is my duty as the style-loving femme fatale that I consider myself to be to arm you with a few tips to ensure that your quest for sensational signature style comes off without a hitch!

24/7 Style It is your trademark, your signature, the thing that makes you recognizable to others; therefore you must ensure that you display your stylish symbol as often as possible!
Just Say No to Trends! Trends are fleeting; here today gone tomorrow. Avoid designating one as your trademark as, chances are, you will tire of it the moment the fashion world casts it aside.
Seasons of Change Be mindful of the fact that your moniker must be flexible; it must retain the ability to work in any and all types of weather. As such, select something that will survive and satisfy your wardrobe winter, spring, summer, or fall.
Metamorphosis Just as trends are fleeting, so are our likes and dislikes of the moment; thus, do not be afraid to modify your trademark, even once it has been established. Style is synonymous with a butterfly emerging from her cocoon, allow it to metamorphosize and flourish as you see fit.
Interlocking C’s At times the interlocking C’s are representative of Coco Chanel; currently, they represent two very important ideas when establishing signature style…confidence and comfort. If both of these prerequisites are not met, find a different look to allocate as your trademark. It is your responsibility as the temptress that you are to effuse fabulousness at all times; a task which is downright impossible if you don’t feel confident or comfortable in your style of dress!

“Style is the hallmark of a temperament stamped upon the material at hand.”
Andre Maurois

Fashionably yours!

Thanks to Polyvore, We ♥ It, World Fashion, Shopbop, ibt Blogs, Coco Lee, and Nicole’s Guide to Style for the pictures.

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