My parents - who met at a teachers' college - believed, in theory, that people are born with infinite capacity to excel and succeed and create and achieve. And that, somewhere along the way, people (parents/teachers/other kids) kind of cut off the branches of possibilities, by telling these little people that they're stupid and they can't. And instead of teaching them to be brave, and explore the realms of possibilities, they teach them the Rules.
My parents believed that, just like water will find its own level, if you let children just be, and don't tell them they are stupid and are failures - and you try as much as possible to keep them from killing themselves by doing something that truly is stupid - that eventually they'll find something they enjoy doing. And doing well.
That said: even my parents weren't perfect, and I can remember some rules. Like one time my mother said, while I was getting dressed: 'You can't wear plaid with stripes.' I was really young at the time, and in general she let us wear whatever we wanted, but she made this pronunciation out of the blue. 'Why not?' 'Because it doesn't go.' 'Why not?' 'I don't know.. because it clashes. You can't wear prints together, because they clash.'
I made a mental note then and there. It became one of my Rules.
So when we did the shoot in December at My Wardrobe HQ, and the Tala inadvertently snatched up the dress Natayla had her eye on, we started playing around with things. Every time Nat would show me something - like this See by Chloe top and the Paul and Joe's Sister skirt - and she'd ask me what I thought and I'd just shrug my shoulders and say 'Try it on.'
Because - this is my New Year's Resolution - every time I have a rule in my head, it's just crying out to be broken.
And 2011 definitely feels like the year when pattern on pattern is going to be explored in new ways. And if you have the budget to wear Chloe and, say, this belt by Alice Temperly (I think it's the same one - in gold)- great, go for it. But sometimes people have more money than sense, or courage. Or creativity. This look could just as easily be achieved using a mish mash of thrift shop and high street and hand me downs. Fashion is meant to be fun. I mean, if we can't have fun getting dressed, I just don't know what else to say.
Except that this morning I saw Shini tweet that she's such a perfectionist she hasn't done a New Year's post and now it's too late. That's another rule I'm breaking: I've just decided it's not too late for a New Year's Eve post. Ever. Not even in July. So watch this space.
My New Year's Eve Sushi by Wasabi, to go. All Natayla's clothes, borrowed from My Wardrobe (Thank you, sweet Susie Q!). Fireworks images, shot by me off My Telly, courtesy of the BBC. Oh and Natayla's Wasabi Sushi skirt, courtesy of My Photoshop.