I've had an absolutely crazy few weeks so once again I apologize for my silence in the blog front. I recently celebrated my 24th birthday and have spent the past week in London working with the UK's leading LGBT rights charity Stonewall on their "Young Leaders" programme -if you're interested in knowing more about this I discuss it at length on my twitter @lovelustloves and you can follow our hashtag #stonewallyoungleaders there also.
I'm not going to go into all the ins and outs of the Young Leaders programme here as there is far too much to discuss in only one blog post; all you need to know is that it's been an absolutely inspiring week and I feel completely humbled to have been asked along to facilitate and support such a wonderful group of activists. One of the group exercises that we worked on over the course of the programme particularly resonated with me however, and sparked the initial idea for this blog post. This was a "Role Model Composite" exercise whereby we asked young people to share with their group some of the people who have influenced their lives in a positive way, focusing on what made them a role model and why they were inspired by these people.
This led to me thinking about who I consider to be my role models, particularly in reference to my personal style. My aesthetic makes up a huge part of who I am and I'm not shy in sharing my personality with the world through my clothing choices, something that I consider to be a very deliberate action. I do however think it's also important to consider where I find my inspiration for this, where it comes from and how my style has evolved over the years based on who and what I am inspired by at particular stages in my life. Since I'm in a particularly self-reflective mood I thought now would be as good a time as any to share with you lovely people some of my style inspirations and role models - so I hope you enjoy!
1) Penelope Garcia
That's right. For anyone unfamiliar with the loudmouth sassy queen of a character, Penelope Garcia is the fictional IT analyst from one of my favourite TV shows, Criminal Minds. Penelope is most known for her fun and playful approach to fashion, which is definitely something that I like to channel when I make my clothing decisions in the morning.
One of the things I most admire about Penelope is her uniqueness and how absolutely unapologetic she is in her style. She's completely herself and doesn't compromise her aesthetic even when working in the corporate world of the FBI. As someone who's often come up against the challenge of needing to "dress professionally" whilst still wanting to maintain my sense of individuality and self, this particular point really resonates with me.
Another thing I adore about Penelope is her ability to co-ordinate colours and accessories like a pro. It's no secret that I LOVE matching colours and co-ordinating cute outfits so this is another key place where I draw style inspiration from. Moreover, she isn't afraid to wear bold prints or clashing colours and it is these bold choices that assist me to really show off my style and fully embrace my own aesthetic.
Lastly, I thought I'd mention something that Penelope and I have in common- our love of hair flowers! It's very rare that you will ever see me without a literal bouquet on my head; I actually own close to 45 hair flowers of all different sizes, shapes, colours etc. and I will happily co-ordinate them to every outfit that I put together.
The comparison doesn't end there however- the lovely Off With Her Head Millinery who I have had the pleasure of working and modelling with before actually sent hair flowers to Kristin Vargas who plays Penelope Garcia that were actually worn on several episodes of Criminal Minds- amazing right?! All in all I think the wonder that is Penelope Garcia is not only a total fox, but a fierce and inspiring lady to boot! Whether she's rocking her cyber-goth style or her Miss Frizzle-esque colour explosions she is a firm fashion favourite of mine.
Myself modelling a lovely fascinator by Off With Her Head Millinery; could definitely see Penelope Garcia rocking this look!
2) Sara is in Love With
I was fortunate enough to stumble across the inimitable Saraisinlovewith when she started following me on Instagram last year. I was instantly pulled into her bright and bold aesthetic and her affinity with the colour pink. After aggressively liking EVERYTHING this beautiful creature posted on her Instagram account, I was then drawn to her blog which you can find here. Awash with reviews, spotlight posts on unusual and outside-of-the-box designers and some of the most well constructed put-together outfits you can imagine, I knew instantly that I had found my new style girl crush.
Sara not only constructs the most beautiful outfits I've ever seen, she's also incredibly detail-oriented. Everything about her looks are on point, right down to the Barbie shoe earrings and the colour splash ombre tights that she wears- true dedication. Sara is also a huge advocate for small independent designers and has turned me on to many retailers that otherwise may have been left completely unknown to me. Brands like Joanna Pybus, Tillyme and Tatty Devine are all now firmly on my radar and it is all thanks to this bright and beautiful lady.
Another thing that I find inspiring about Sara is that she is using the blogging world to her advantage and putting out truly unique content. She doesn't conform to traditional fashion rules and isn't afraid to clash prints, mix colours (or even shoes!) and her posts are unlike any others that I've seen in the oversaturated sphere of fashion blogging. If ever I'm feeling deflated or void of clothing inspiration Sara's blog is always the first place I turn to and I always find that she gives me great ideas to try out - she is a true fashion superhero.
3) Teer Wayde
Teer is a timeless Australian pinup beauty who has been on my radar for a number of years, primarily through the wonderful world of Pinupgirlclothing. Teer's look is one that is striking - traditional pinup with the most impressive curves- truly an apt reflection of her blog title "Curves to Kill".
What I admire most about Teer's style is how composed she always seems to look- even in a simple sundress and flats Teer makes each and every garment look incredibly expensive and luxurious- in short she's great for my style and aesthetic but terrible for my bank balance!
Teer is also a proud body positive advocate and one of the hardest working plus size models in the industry as it stands. According to her website she is self- professed: "A model with curves, changing the face and shape of beauty." Beauty, style and a positive message to share with the world? How could I not be instantly inspired by this powerhouse!
From her stunning red tresses and enviably small waist to her impeccable kitten flicks, ruby red lips and ability to make virtually anything look good, Teer has not only inspired my style but has also encouraged me to work harder at my modelling endeavours and to fully appreciate the beauty of women all around me, something I am truly thankful for.
4) Tracey Turnblad
Now, on to my final and arguably biggest style icon (pardon the pun!). It's no secret whatever that I am absolutely infatuated with the work of my ultimate hero John Waters, and I have to praise him endlessly for the magic that is his 1988 masterpiece "Hairspray". This film for me was my first exposure to a revolutionary concept- the happy fat girl. Tracey Turnblad, the spunky hair hoppin' political activist represents for me everything that I aspire to be. Loud. Confident. Unashamed. And with a highly enviable wardrobe to boot!
Tracy Turnblad not only represents many of the personality features that I find so admirable in a person, but her style flair speaks to me on a completely visceral level. Take for example the above outfit- who would be so bold as to wear a dress with actual plastic flowers attached to the bust? Why this queen- that's who! Tracy also represents for me a massive middle finger to the preconceived notion that style should always be "figure flattering" - fat girls today are so often told what and what not to wear. "Cover your arms" "Don't wear bodycon- disguise your belly!" "Stay away from bright colours!" Tracy Turnblad has never given a single fuck about any of these so-called "rules" and neither should you- if it feels good, wear it!
If you require any further evidence of my affinity to the singin' and dancing supremo then look no further than my "That Girl's got Roaches in her Hair" blog post where I imitate my icon during her infamous "Miss Auto-Show" scene as shown below- a truly pioneering moment in my initial foray into fashion.
The queen herself
And so my darlings that concludes my little run-through of my biggest style inspirations. I may very well follow up this post with a style inspirations 2.0 at some point as I do tend to garner fashion enlightenment at every given opportunity from a number of different sources.
Who are your biggest style inspirations? Anyone mentioned on my list?
Until next time my lovelies-