For many of our cherished designers, stylists, and writers, fashion is all about taking old knowledge and reinventing it into something special. So many of our favourite brands have put much research into history and heritage, to build upon and in the name of continuing a legacy of timelessness. Think of our buddy Nigel Cabourn and how he uses his incredible vintage archive to inspire his design or perhaps even Mihara Yasuhiro with his much more literal and modern take on splicing new with old. So when it comes to styling yourself, of course we think the same thinking can be applied to how you put yourself together ! For this style instalment we have a special guest writer Emily Hightail taking you through some key principles and labels that pop out to us today.

Get inspired by the World Around You
One brand that comes to mind is Kirei. The clothing line was created by Hina Moss who used the Japanese word for beautiful (pronounced ‘kee-ray’) to christen her label. Kirei has a timeless and worldly aura about it, inspired by vintage fabrics, exotic trims and artwork that designer Moss discovers on her travels. A percentage of Kirei profits are also given to a children’s charity based in Delhi. Much of travelling is about exploring a culture’s history and like Kieri, you yourself can use it as a source of inspiration for your own wardrobe, cherry picking from different traditions and cultures to create your own unique style.

Create Balance
Like everything in life the best results come through balance. Combining vintage and modern pieces that it is about understanding yourself and what you love. Tried mixing your favourite staples with a really special vintage piece? Experimenting will take you a really long way, and you might be surprised as to how many people give respect to those who dare carve out their own rad style. Achieving balance is about embracing old and new equally; we wouldn’t have one without the other, and it is great to acknowledge that.

Find the Right Brand
In today’s expansive label landscape, you are bound to connect with some that truly speak to you. Sniffing them out can be an exercise of presence and intuitiveness, but thanks to the wealth of information on the web we have the world at our fingertips – literally. Be curious, be inquisitive, reach out to labels on social, ask them questions about provenance, but most importantly keep a connection to where your clothes come from. Finding a retailer that resonates with you can also open doors to the right brands that weren’t in your radar. Online shopping platforms can do this for you too, as they have become great web tools for discovery. Lyst recently previewed the latest Thom Browne collection, a brand they feel imbues traditional designs with a subversive edge, and one that focuses on timeless classic tailoring that uses updated styles from the 50s & 60s. The more informed you can be the better. We should always be asking where things come from while all the same admiring their wonderment.

Look For Unusual Fabrics
We must appreciate a raw material as much as the object that it becomes. Good fabrics are no exception to that rule, and just like the ingredients you select to make a meal, the fabrics chosen to make a garment will determine quality and beauty. Today we need to be attentive to provenance more than ever thanks to a very globalised market force that is driven by growth. Im talking about fast food, fast fashion, and an over convenient lifestyle that has brought with it a tonne of junk that is not true to its promise. Stick with your gut, use your hands to feel the quality of fabric that a garment, and ask yourself if it speaks to quality and beauty. Swedish designer Elise Lindkvist found inspiration in Kilim rugs (an old style of flatweave rugs that can be found through Turkey, North Africa, the Balkans, the Caucasus, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Central Asia and China) for her line of footwear and bags. “What really fascinates me is that every kilim rug has its own story to. I wanted to bring the culture and the craftsmanship into today’s modern style.” – Lindkvist

Classic Designs and Modern Ethics
As fashion expands and develops so does its relationship with the planet. The Huffington Post put Studio 15 at the top of their list of brands that are mindful in production and ethics. The brand is heavily invested in lifting women out of poverty – as women account for two thirds of global citizens below the poverty line. A testament that goodness can be a simple intention; an act of ‘being’ over the need to ‘have’.

/ Written by Emily Hightail /

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