Style says “This is who I am- this is my signature, my voice, my scent, my colors, the cut I like best. This is me, good as I am.” It’s in the eye, the smile, the gaze, the laugh. It’s who I saw crossing the street in front of me in Florence… From Acquired Taste by Carol Edgarian
Ever so often, I come across an article in a magazine that stays with me. Carol Edgarian’s “Acquired Taste” from the April 2011 issue of W is exactly that type of article. If you haven’t read this article, you can read it- Here. It's a true gem. The premise is the origin of personal style and how it's informed by the world around us. It's hard to define exactly what style is, but it's more than owning beautiful clothing. Edgarian beautifully captures that moment when you see a woman with great style and want to be let in on her secret.
I had this article on my mind when I went uptown to preview Bergdorf's McQueen windows last month. On the corner of 58th street I ran into Giovanna Battaglia. I have seen her on numerous occasions at the collections, but that's different. At Fashion Week everyone is very self aware. What I noticed about Giovanna wasn't her striking beauty, immaculate grooming, beautiful dress or gorgeous bag. Instead I noticed the elegant way she draped her scarf over her head to protect her hair from the wind (teach me) and her gracefully crossed legs as she perched on the ledge of a storefront. There was something extremely elegant and ladylike about her clothing and mannerisms. Her clothing could have looked like a girl playing dress up on another woman, but they matched who she is perfectly. I prefer a bit more simplicity when it comes to dressing, however I always enjoy seeing how polished Giovanna looks.
For me, style requires a knowledge and appreciation for the classics. If you don't have any reference points when it comes to fashion- how can you even begin to cultivate your own personal style? Style and identity are interrelated. Having style means that you have perfected your individual point of view. Personal style requires a degree of confidence in oneself and choices. Once you've found your style you build upon it. Experience and lifestyle allow you to make adjustments along the way. You become discerning and learn to admire items that don't suit you from afar once you develop your own personal style. I can only hope that one day I acquire this innate sense of style.
June 17, 2011
Style and Identity