What does individualism mean to you? Does originality still exist in fashion? These were just some of the questions an elite panel of fashion heavyweights discussed during the inaugural TK Maxx style by me debate, hosted by style queen Dawn Porter last week.
The lively interactive debate had fashion pioneer Zandra Rhodes, legendary opinion former Hilary Alexander OBE, internet uber-vlogger Jim Chapman and celebrity stylist Andrew Davis impart their expertise and insights on the subject of individualism and personal style in our socially connected world.
Here’s some of our favourites quotes and advice from the debate:
On London being at the forefront of ‘individualism’, designer Zandra Rhodes commented: “Individualism really flowers in this country… people come to the fashion week and you see them making their own statements – it’s exciting”
On her own personal choices, “pink is always in for me, I once dyed my hair brown ‘to fit the norm’, it lasted a week just didn’t feel right.”
Jim Chapman, on the influence of social media “I am living proof of social media allowing people to express themselves – for success online it’s all about personality, my fans relate to me because I’m an individual… If you’re happy, you’ll make other people happy too. It’s easier said than done, but ignore the haters.” He say’s on his personal taste “it’s very classic, it’s what I feel comfortable in”
Fashion icon and journalist Hilary Alexander stated “You have to have a laugh and enjoy fashion. You don’t have to go out and absorb every single trend in a season, you can pick and choose…Find something you love and build your wardrobe around it.”
We also loved Hilary’s advice about having the confidence of looking at what’s happening behind you when looking into a mirror, “don’t just look at what is happening in front of you, turn around and look behind”.
Whilst Andrew Davis commented “Individual style is about being confident about the way you look and enjoying what you’re wearing, it’s all about being happy…it’s amazing when you can get an emotion like that from your wardrobe.”
Dawn O’Porter summarised the evening with some advice for people today, “For young people, following trends is the easy option, but as you get older you realise what does and doesn’t work for you. It’s brave to step away from trends and embrace your personal style… That’s what fashion is, being inspired by a different time of place.”
We also learned, according to research by TK Maxx, that 29 is the age that we are supposed to find our style, not sure we agree with that one, we were pretty happy and confident with our style much earlier.
Our take out from the debate was, be yourself, be confident and happy in your choices and if in doubt ask a friend who will be honest and isn’t afraid of hurting your feelings. Fashion is and will always remain a very subjective topic, what suits one person looks hideous on someone else, also a ‘personal sense of style’ can alter a look and differ from one person to the next. Personally, we think Chanel put it best when she said “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”
TK Maxx’s current Me. By Me campaign centres around the insight that people are at their happiest and most confident when they are their true selves. The campaign stars real TK Maxx shoppers who embody the spirit of Me. By. Me; helping to inspire others to unlock their individuality and celebrate their own sense of style.
Join the conversation using #StylebyMe and follow TK Maxx on @TKMaxx_UK
Watch the video here: