How to: Avoid a fashion faux pas

Introducing those unsightly trends that make us wonder what today's fashion peacocks were thinking.

At some point, we have all been guilty of being slaves to fashion, trawling the Instagram accounts of the style cognoscenti in an effort to garner an insight into what the uber fashionable are wearing right this very minute. While it’s important to keep one’s finger on the international scene, one could be forgiven for turning away in horror at some of the off schedule fashion faux pas making their presence known on the recent fashion week circuits.

Gone are the days of donning a chic, coordinated black, white, grey or navy ensemble smartly accented with just a splash of bright colour. Today’s fashion folk are more fond of clashing outfits, brazenly mismatched and bearing loud and proud insignias and dedications to their childhood cartoon fantasies. It’s Peacocking at it’s most visible, and if we’re not careful these dreadful cries for off catwalk attention will be interpreted as fashion gold and make their debut on a department store floor near. You have been warned.

Take heed of some advice when taking style cues from the fashion fleet.

1. Be a crow, not a peacock.
The stalwarts of fashions front row, such as Anna Wintour, Grace Coddington and Carine Roitfeld understood the understated magnetism of the colour black. Being timeless and effortlessly cool trumps overzealous colour and clashing overlapping patterns. When in doubt, pull it right back to black.

2. Even a clothes horse can look ridiculous.
So, you’ve got legs for Africa and a supermodel body? Just because you have an enviable sample size figure and you managed to get your hands on the entire pre-fall collection of Balenciaga, Dior and Celine, doesn’t mean you necessarily need to parade them all at once. To prevent looking like you’ve just been thrown up on by a group from the local fashion design school, pick one dominant theme and let it speak for itself.

3. Look to the French to keep it classic.
You’ve certainly got to hand it to the French; they know how to master understated chic. From the minimal makeup, the undone hair, to the outré body confidence; the quintessential French woman doesn’t yearn for attention and nor does her ensemble.

4. Don’t be seasonally confused.
Oh, a Givenchy fur coat you say? How very Kimye of you. If the sweltering heat is making you sweat bullets then please, listen to your thermostat and forgo the coat. There is nothing noble about being seasonally confused. Sweating is not on trend. Nor are open toed sandals in the snow.

5. Wear the dress darling, don’t let the dress wear you.
If the puffed sleeves, the gather there, the pin tuck here, and the all encompassing print drowns you in a sea of fabric, perhaps re-think the statement you’re trying to make.

6. Just because it’s Margiela does not make it right.
We can all admire the artistry behind a fashion house and their avant-garde decision making skills, but hit and misses occur at the top of the pyramid too. Case in point, Pharrell and the Vivienne Westwood hat that feels like a reoccurring bad dream. Don’t assume because it’s a luxury label that it’s an automatic win. Money talks, sure, but a fashion faux pas screams fashion novice.

Etiquette


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