Each week on my LCF short course I’m given an assignment to complete. I thought that since I’ve got to write these things anyway I may as well throw them up on the blog for all to see. Week one, the brief was to write a description of how I look, what I wear and what this says about me as a person. You might have seen I bragged on Twitter that when the teacher gave our work back the next week he said he always reads the best one out to the class and he only went and picked mine! As you can imagine, I was in teacher’s pet heaven. Here’s what I came up with to answer the question ‘how do I look?’
You know the supposedly ‘perfect woman’ that the Daily Mail will tell you every man really wants? The girls with the ideal size ten curves, ample bosom and long, glossy, chestnut brown Kate Middleton locks? Well imagine something like the opposite of that and you’ve got me.
Far from a perfect ten, I’m a scrawny size six, with a straight up and down figure almost entirely devoid of what my mother calls ‘child bearing hips.’ The word boyish is pretty spot on when it comes to describing my body shape. Topped off with a short shock of platinum blonde that my hairdresser reliably informs me is an ‘undercut pixie crop,’ and you get the picture – Kelly Brook I am not.
So when it comes to what I wear, you won’t find me in waist-cinching 1950′s skirts or cleavage-enhancing plunging necklines (FYI, I have no cleavage). Far from it – I know that a bit of androgyny is a far better proposition when faced with my willowy silhouette.
The advent of the skinny jean, circa 2004, was a godsend for me: I relinquished all my bootcut denim with gay abandon and haven’t looked back since. Along with my faithful skinnies I’ve a penchant for, well, let’s call it ‘unusual’ knitwear – if it features a picture of a unicorn, or looks like something a jolly American soccer mom would have worn at Christmas in 1987 then chances are I’ll love it. Add to that a pair of battered brown leather lace-up boots and you’ve pretty much got my daywear uniform.
When it comes to night time and dressing up, I’m all about the eighties. I’m talking clingy, high-waisted skirts, tight velvet minidresses and plenty of sequins. After a decade of bargain-hunting on EBay and rummaging in charity shops I have amassed a collection of vintage prom dresses in everything from shiny metallic violet to deep emerald velvet. On the whole, they’re very short. I may not have enviable curves, but with fairly lengthy legs I don’t mind flashing a little bit of flesh now and then. My most very favourite dress is particularly thigh-skimming: it’s skimpy and black with asymmetrical orange polka dot sleeves – I can totally see Madonna wearing it during her Desperately Seeking Susan phase.
What does this all add up to? What do you see when you look at me? I hope you see someone who is comfortable in their own skin. Someone who knows their own style and likes to play with fashion, but isn’t a slave to it. Someone who knows that they may not have the ‘perfect’ body as dictated by society or the media or bitchy celebrity magazines, but dresses to suit that shape and, most of all, to make herself happy.
Not for good though. I’m starting a short course at the London College of Fashion.
Along with beekeeping, I’m starting another extra-curricular activity this year. Although, actually, this one is kind of curricular: on Thursday evening I’ll be going to the first class of the fashion journalism course I’ve signed up for at the London College of Fashion. It’s actually called Fashion Journalism 2, because it’s intended for people who’ve already got a bit of experience. Hopefully three years of fashion blogging is enough to qualify me for that bracket.
Over seven classes of two and a half hours each, the course promises to help me ‘develop more journalistic confidence and forge a cutting-edge style.’ It’s taught by Paul Tierney, a journalist who boasts bylines in loads of top glossies and broadsheets. Since my writing skills are entirely self-taught, I’m really looking forward to learning from a pro, but also ever so slightly nervous he will tell me I’m useless and should give up immediately. Hopefully not though. Either way, I’m excited about my first day (OK, evening) at school and about meeting my new classmates. Here’s hoping I don’t get bullied/my lunch money stolen/sent to the Principal’s office. Wish me luck.
London College of Fashion runs over 200 different short courses in a range of different subjects. Check out the LCF website for details.