Some un-beautifying thoughts

As I was finishing up packing for New York (I’m sitting in BA’s lounge typing this by the by so excuse the semi unwoken, inbalanced witterings…), I looked inside the contents, at the dress that I have procured for the Gucci event (not showing, not telling….laters, laters!), at the other dresses, accessories and shoes which I have packed, wee strands of doubt crept in.  The contents most definitely represents me and what my style is all about but as I’m about to board and take to a city where the once-overs are ruthless and beauty is regimented (in comparison to London anyway…), fears, particularly about the big bash dress popped up.  Will they laugh?  Will they whisper ‘What the hell is she wearing?’.  Fears about this unknown ‘they’ that hadn’t previously existed, but for some reason in a last minute panic attack, they were invading my brain. 

However some reassuring words from stylist and photographer Manuela Pavesi (also known as Miuccia Prada’s best friend…) from the feature in the latest Pop magazine (I know I know… repetitive but this is airport posting!) floated by and suddenly, I had to laugh at my fears of ‘they’.  The ‘they’ ceased to exist…

"Today everyone wants to be beautiful, which looks very strange to me.  Because fashion is not about being beautiful, it’s about wearing something you love and making you think about a lot of things.  The trend today is just to be slim with no wrinkles.  But style and fashion have nothing to do with being young and pretty – they are beyond that."

I closed up my suitcase with a self-congratulatory smile and locked it up with a padlock (that hopefully US security will be able to get into without ripping up my case…) and gave it a pat.   


50 Replies to “Some un-beautifying thoughts”

  1. an excellent quote! Style isn’t simply the result of some feeble adherence to superficial notions of popularised beauty; it’s about resonating with something more true, personal and unique. I’m sure you’ll do it!
    hope you have a safe journey.

  2. Lovely stuff. I’m so looking forward to seeing what you have chosen, I’m sure you will look as beautiful as ever. Enjoy xx

  3. I think I’ve mentioned before that I used to have TERRIBLE clothes crises in my twenties when I was off to the shows/fashion events/store openings etc, but (it did take me a while), I realised that a) very few fashion people are well dressed b) very few are thin or pretty c) a lot actually have shocking taste.
    And you’ll discover in NYC that a lot of fashionistas truly believe that they will look chic if they throw on as many brands as poss. And they don’t. But do be prepared to stand out: what I call English Eclectism: how you, and I (in a more 30s age appropriate manner!), dress, bit of vintage here, a splash of label there, is not common in high fashion circles.
    BUT – you’ll stand out because you’ll look amazing. Seriously: hold your head up high. You know a lot more about fashion than many assts & editors I’ve come across, and you dress beautifully. Work it darling! LLG xx

  4. PS If you did decide to have a blow out for the party (what they call a blow dry), my hairdresser, Shalom Sharon in the East Village is a god. It cost me $65 incl tip ( a fat one) last time, but I looked FABULOUS. He is a session stylist, one of Guido Paulo’s proteg√©s, and his salon has just two chairs, and he cuts there on the days when he isn’t shooting, and in the evenings. And he’s cute too! And his assistant has an adorable dog! LLG xx

  5. You’ve had similar crises in Paris too, Susie- but believe me, you have no reason to worry- you probably have a lot more style in your little toe than a lot of the people you’re meeting. Either way, the thing to do is go out there with your chin up – no once-overing person with any sense would dare to try and put you down. And most of all, your clothes communicate something about your personality- that’s not something you should change.

  6. Good for you! Fashhion is not about being beautiful, though most media would have us believe that. When you look in the mirror and love what you’re wearing and how you feel, without wanting to look like a model drone…. that’s beautiful.

  7. wonderfully put. i’m going through the same doubts — what is it about new york fashion scene that can strike fear in the hearts of the otherwise completely-secure-in-their-style? — and think you’ve hit it exactly. but it’s going to be a great, once (maaaybe twice)-in-a-lifetime sort of opportunity, and it would be a shame to waste a moment of that worrying.
    can’t wait to see what you’re wearing, btw! you’ve inspired me to pick something a little more daring. i’m sure it’s going to rock.

  8. don’t you dare fret about nyc!! you are 100 times more stylish than most all of the people walking the street there. and i think you should hope for a few ‘what the hell is she wearing?’s – make em wobble in their stillettos.
    can’t wait to hear about your adventure!

  9. an anticipating this event and your outfit soooo much! total faith in your pickings, i know the dress will be amazing! also, if you were true to your wants of a designer dress then it will be naturally very flattering and classy. added to your own amazing-ness and you will steal the red cartpet!

  10. Maybe I was in the wrong bit of New York but i don’t remember a lot of fashionable people. Dull dull dull and everything was a copy of a copy of a copy, but i do remember snobbery. have fun! You got an invite by being yourself, so keep it up.

  11. I am confident that you will look fabulous. You have an amazing creative style all of your own. Just believe in yourself and have a wonderful time. Two quotes for you:)
    “The hardest battle in life is to be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you like everybody else” ee cummings
    “The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no farther than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places noone has ever been before.” Albert Einstein

  12. Gee, thanks, Helen! LOL. Yes, it is so dull and snobby here. That just captures New York. Seriously, Suzy, people dress in a variety of ways. If you do something a little different there’s always going to be someone who rolls their eyes but there will be more people to admire it. Wear what you feel comfortable with and stop worrying about the opinions of a couple of theoretical Conde Nast girls. Whatever you can come up with, anyway, I’m sure we’ve all seen a lot stranger.

  13. oh! have a super great time there! +enjoy yourself in your innovative outfits above all. but tell miuccia’s best friend that this quote is maybe how SHE would like this industry to be. or else let them make the change, firing all blonde, skinny, beautiful and super young promoters of their work.

  14. SB, I know that if I saw you–at a party, in a shop, on a shoot–I’d wonder who the interesting, brilliantly dressed girl was. And then I’d introduce myself and steal one of your style ideas when I got home. Or maybe all of them.
    Most people are going to fall in love with you the way we have here. If there are some who cast a sidelong glance, remember that this is often the result of fear. Fear of competition. Fear of not being seen as worthy. Fear of being true to oneself.
    You’ve got nothing to worry about, kiddo. Have a great time and I know that I for one am on tenterhooks waiting to see your party dress. I have a feeling this is the first of many splashy international parties you will attend and I thank you for taking us along for the ride. Better get used to having your picture taken! You’re a superstar.

  15. Yay Susie! I have struggled with those thoughts many a time, and I must say that it is so much better to just wear what you love.I wish you luck on your trip and do have fun! I cannot wait to hear all about it.

  16. seriously, you’re going to wow them all with your unique style! All your readers are from around the world, we think you’re fab and thats got to count for something. Go for it and have fun! Can’t wait to see this dress!

  17. Wishing you the best for NY.
    That quote is so refreshing. It’s a little unnerving that we rarely hear someone actually say these positive things.

  18. oh my god like can i meet you and get an autograph? (kidding about the autograph. but i think it will be cool if you are free to meet for a drink or a hot chocolate. if only you’re free of course!!)

  19. That quotes a keeper, especially fr me, because I change outifts an average of 3 times before actually leaving my house. Have fun in New York!

  20. Susie, have the BEST time in NY. We all have insecurities about what we wear from time to time… I’m terrible for it. I often change my outfit 5 times before I run out of time and have to leave in a panic because I’m late! And its always fine. You are beautiful. Your clothes are beautiful. You’ll be fab. Can’t wait to see the dress!
    I’m going to save this quote and I might repost it on my blog if thats ok with you!

  21. good luck! you’ll look gasp-inducing and im embarassingly excited about seeing the full glory of the outfit- if you pop up in Grazia i may not be able to confine my excitement to my tube carriage 😛 please give trop coverage so we can all live vicariously through u. grattis!

  22. Definitely a good quote to stick in mind! God I wish there were more ‘fashion intellectuals’ like you in North America – so sick of the conventional “beautiful” vapid ppl here buy into! You are what fashion needs! Hell, what NYC needs ;p

  23. wow thanks for the quote 🙂
    this is what makes me so sad… that a lot of people think fashion is beauty. We’ve all kind of forgotten what fashion is about. Fashion is the art of wearing clothes. It’s something every one in the world participates in.

  24. this post made me very happy. because somehow lately i seem to be getting subtle disapprovals about the way i dress because it is unconventional but i am glad that somewhere out there, many pple are happy with the way they look and r not afraid to express it

  25. Lol sorry Wendy B! that was just my experience of *fashion* in New York. Although the flipside to that was some very real kindness from actual people.

  26. Well, that’s a nice quote and on at least one level I agree with it. But I still recognize that style and fashion are psychologically complex. We dress for ourselves, true, but we also dress to fit in with our identity group. We also dress for biological reasons – attract a mate. So, here is where young and pretty enter into fashion.

  27. What a fantastic quote. This is surely what most people forget…I am glad it assuaged your fears and anxieties. Looking forward to seeing ‘The Dress’!

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