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Who Made it Cool?

Volunteering to write for The Trip magazine was an easy decision. I love the whole idea behind the magazine, I love all the various things it does and I love how it benefits everyone involved. But when the new website went live and I received my admin details, I was told the style section was a little quiet, and was asked to write a wee something to fill it out.

My first reaction was, ‘pffffft, no’. Most people would think I am not the person to be writing about style. 9 days out of 10 I reject all ideas of makeup due to sheer laziness and opt for my comfiest jeans rather than the latest supposedly beautiful fashion from Urban Outfitters S/S collection. Sure, I own a lot of clothes, and I can throw a bang-on-trend outfit together on the rare occasion I want to, but the idea of trawling the internet and magazines for hours looking at frankly boring up-and-coming styles just to stay with the times, let alone spending thousands of pounds purchasing them each season, appalls me. Who can be bothered?

But despite my initial negative reaction to being asked to fill out the style section, I realised there’s one thing in the fashion industry that actually interests me, and that’s what I’m going to write about.

What actually makes it ‘fashionable’??



Recently for women we’ve seen the emergence and establishment of dipped hem dresses and skirts, studded shorts, soft pastel colours, clashing prints, underground creepers and crucifixes/peace symbols on EVERYTHING.  For men, denim shirts, vintage bomber jackets, Vans shoes, hats that are stupidly too big for your head and ankle-grazing chinos are what your personal stylists (i.e. your mothers & girlfriends) are forcing you to buy.

So what I want to know is – who is the person that decided it was cool to style clothes like this? And how did it, seemingly overnight, mean that every shop was stocking clothes in this style?  It can’t all have emerged from the worlds leading designers – in fact, I know a fair few idiots who claim it was them who started the crucifix obsession, and every shop in the nation just ripped them off.

Who are the people that make styles catch on? And how do they do it?  In this ever expanding digital age, the I love idea that its not just the professional designers who frequent fashion weeks that get new designs out there, but ordinary people. The idea that they could be posting something they’ve styled on tumblr , facebook and twitter and it gets re-blogged into the stratosphere until it’s a global trend, is something I love. I love to think people that I know who design brilliant clothes/accessories are going to get their products noticed simply from putting it about the web, not just those who have 50 years international fashion experience.


Testament to this, in the film Mean Girls (don’t pretend you’ve not seen it lads) , to try and make a   popular girl unpopular, they cut holes in her top to show her bra. Soon, the entire school does it to copy her because she’s so popular, she’s set a trend.
Does this mean that if I was popular enough and one day decided to use a bin liner as a handbag, it would catch on? If i made it look cool enough, then maybe, just maybe.

My view on this is completely split.
If you’re trying to get something you’ve designed and created noticed, and it catches on in style, that’s brilliant – but if it’s your own personal and individual fashion quirks that suddenly everyone has, you’re no longer unique and that’s irritating as hell.

So in an odd, roundabout way, what I guess I’m trying to say is, don’t let what styles we’re being force-fed by the media be your only stride forward into the fashion world. All that ends up happening – in my humble opinion – is everyone looking identical to the extent that we form automatic stereotypes. *cough* hipster *cough*. Stand out from the sheep; don’t be afraid to dig back into your wardrobe for something you wore two years ago – you never know, you might see it on the catwalk next season.

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About the author

Phoebe Inglis-Holmes had written 2 articles for The Trip Magazine

18 years old. I'm from the Scottish Borders but live in and love Glasgow, where I study at Glasgow Caledonian university. I am a Multimedia Journalism student, radio DJ & music producer for Generate Radio & Radio Caley, Music Editor and assistant photography manager of The Edit magazine, blogger, photographer, writer and general media bum. Feel free to ask if you want to know more!

One Response to "Who Made it Cool?"
  1. Reply Colleen Henderson-Heywood May 10, 2012 15:49 pm

    wooooo wooooo Phoebe rocks

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