When I was young, my mom - bless her - was not one of those mothers who told us how we should dress. I am sure that's why I never have one of those days when I'm trying six million things on and have 'nothing to wear'. She didn't follow fashion like some kind of slave, but - I can see now - by not having any dramas about how we styled ourselves, she gave us a strong sense of fashion confidence. We found our own style.
She did have one rule. It was just something she said in passing, one day. She said we shouldn't mix patterns, because they clashed. I had to ask her a few times, what was a pattern ('You know: dots and plaids and stripes') and the more difficult one - 'what does clash mean'. She probably just eventually gave up and went back to 'wear whatever you like: it's no skin off my nose.'
If it's possible that there is one trend bigger than 'colour blocking' - which I'm not seeing as much of as I'd like, or assumed - it is the sophisticated use of multiple patterns.
Clashing, with confidence.
You might recall, last fall, I did an impromptu series of streetstyle photo shoots for Goodone, an ethical recycled clothing company based in East London. (for example, click here or here or here or here. Or, here!). I had been sent a press release from Topshop, who were running their A/W 2010 line, and I said you know what? Rather than use your photos - which I don't like to do - if you send me some clothes to borrow, I'll get some friends together, blah blah blah. AND THEY DID: a messenger delivered the whole line, in shopping bags, the next day, and we did a really quick shoot. It was like a flashmob photoshoot. We met at my local Cafe Nero, changed in the ladies' room, had a laugh.. an example, here:
Anyway, just before LFW in February, someone who worked with Nin Castle, the designer, got in touch, and arranged a meeting at Somerset House. Nin is DELIGHTFUL. We just got on instantly. I just love what she and her team are doing: creating affordable, sustainable, and very wearable, collections, made in England from reclaimed and up-cycled fabrics.
So when she sent me a press release recently with shots from a shoot she did with one of her best friends - and flat mate's - JESS BONHAM, shooting - well I simply had to break my 'don't use other people's photography on my blog' rule. Besides, I love these shots, and the way they're styled, so much.
Soon, I want to stop by with a friend or two to her studio, and do my own shoots again. But for now, here are some examples from Goodone's Basic Collection: everything is under £100, and can be customised TO ORDER. So you can give them, for example, a leg length.. it's extraordinary, really. Especially in the recent wonderful exchanges on posts to do with 'where can we find affordable, ethical clothing?'
Who knew: in our own back yards. Metaphorically speaking.
GOODONE BASIC COLLECTION is available online (www.goodone.uk) or on the ASOS marketplace. If in doubt, contact them at GOODONE. Ask for Nin, tell her Jill sent you ; )
Photos by Jess Bonham, except the middle bunch - by me.