“Fashion is what we’re told to wear, style is what we choose to wear” -this is a quote I have heard a number of times that I think really does capture the essence of style. Some people are fashionable; they wear what magazines tell them looks good or try to replicate outfits they see on store mannequins. Then there are the people that have truly established their own style -they have created a personal look that has flourished through their creativity, ideas and life experiences. I think that in different parts of the world people’s personal style has developed and bloomed at different rates. After travelling a lot this past summer- from the hippy lands of Pai in Thailand, to the glamorous, couture streets of Paris, no place impressed me as much as the markets of London, England, especially Brick Lane.
Brick Lane is perhaps the most inspiring street I have ever walked through with trendy shops, chic cafes, cool bars, and musicians playing music in the street. It is in a newly gentrified area, filled with the most amazing vintage shops and stores that sell unique clothing and accessories. Not only were the stores filled with trendy clothing, but every person walking through the street was a 20-something with the most amazing style I’ve ever seen. I felt like I had walked into a sophisticatedly-grungy 60’s inspired movie. It is undoubtedly a fashion-lovers dream.
Each store on Brick Lane had its very own vibe and style. There were vintage stores filled with purely thrifty necessities such as fur coats and destroyed denim shorts, there was a more “ghetto” style vintage store that made you feel as though you walked right into a 80’s hip-hop music video. Moving away from vintage, there was a graffiti-ed store in which all of the pieces were tie-dyed and graffiti-ed by the people that worked there, an all-leather everything store, a classic chic boutique, and the list goes on.
No matter what you are looking for in terms of your style, Brick Lane most likely has it, and people walking through the streets had definitely found what they were seeking. They were as inspiring as the shops and the atmosphere manifested by Brick Lane. It was something I had never seen or felt before to that extent- to be in a place where I was inspired by every single person’s style, yet no one actually dressed the same. It felt like they were all saying “look at me, this is me, I don’t care, you can hate it if you want”- and some people probably do, but for me, that street and those people changed how I think about style, and where I want my style to go.
Kate Bialowas, Fashion Contributor