Lately, I’ve been reflecting a lot on my past dalliances with personal style. I’ve been thinking about what inspired my choices then and what inspires me now, and have realised that whilst my style has evolved many a time, my core influences have remained the same. From the city that I will always refer to as home, to some of my favourite musicians and well-loved style icons, it is an amalgamation of factors that inspire what I wear and I simply cannot narrow where I seek inspiration to one thing.
London is a city like no other and is in my opinion, the best city on earth. A bold statement to make I know, but it is a place that offers striking architecture, a rich history and a highly creative and ambitious vibe like nowhere else that I have visited. It is also where I am genuinely my happiest self.
It is the first place that I ever called home and whilst I may not live in the city anymore, it will always be home to me. It is the city in which I work and earn a living and the one place you can almost guarantee you’ll find me on the weekends.
There is something very special about my city. A city that always has something interesting going on and one that is multi-cultural and extremely diverse, I never feel alone when I’m there and it makes me happy to see many different faces from various places all enjoying the beauty of it. The culture in London is unlike anywhere that I’ve experienced and one that has shaped me as a person and really inspires my style.
As a young teen, I would seize the opportunity of weekends in London as a chance to spend my time in and around Camden. Browsing the many alternative and vintage shops that Camden Market had (and still has) to offer, my personal style quickly became a mix of brightly coloured tights and accessories combined with oversized granny jumpers, denim shorts and military style boots. I think it’s pretty obvious that I couldn’t decide if I wanted to be Hayley Williams, Kate Nash or Alexa Chung (my absolute queens during that time), but I can confidently say that it was the surroundings of Camden that played a huge part in my formation of personal style back then. Whilst admittedly outlandish, my clothing choices didn’t make me stand out when I would spend time there, everybody around me would wear equally (if not more) loud, mismatched outfits and this made me feel comfortable and confident. For that period of time, Camden was my style haven.
Naturally, I outgrew that scene and discovered even more beautiful areas of London – all of which have a played a part in my current personal style. From the tailored styles of Notting Hill to the laid-back, minimalist trends of Shoreditch and Bethnal Green, London is definitely where I seek the majority of my style inspiration.
From some of my favourite bands such as Arctic Monkeys, Foals and Haim to my ultimate leading women and men Florence Welch, Jessie Ware, Morrissey and Josh Tillman – music has always played a big part in influencing my style.
It’s a difficult one to explain without sounding like an obnoxious millennial hipster, but I find that the music I love tends to exude a specific positive vibe that makes me feel self-assured in what I decide to wear. I don’t have to fuss about making a big song and dance about my outfits (pun most certainly NOT intended), I can wear even the most basic pieces yet confidently choose items that seamlessly pull it all together – quite like in the same way as my favourite musicians do.
Not only do some of my well-loved artists create the best music, but their sartorial ways are also very inspiring.
The denim jackets, smart blazers, well-kept boots, slightly oversized and floaty silhouettes of the musicians I’ve named above, are effortless and timeless – exactly the way I want my personal style to be and remain.
As a fond lover of classic and uncomplicated style, I will happily admit that I have a list of beloved icons – the ones that you will often find me searching for on Pinterest, scrolling in awe through their outfits and gathering ideas on how to incorporate their looks into my own.
– Francoise Hardy
– Charlotte Gainsbourg
– Jane Birkin
– Dorothy Dandridge
– Donyale Luna
Personal style is just that, personal. However, it doesn’t mean that we can’t admit that we derive inspiration from other people, places and things – I for one love being able to do so.
Photography by Alisha Dandy