Monday, 27 September 2010

Faith from Paloma

I was rather enlightened and inspired by an interview with Paloma Faith that I read in Stella supplement from the Sunday Telegraph yesterday.

I do frequently get told that I remind people of Paloma - it was purely co-incidence that our styles seemed to be similar and we're both red lipped, red haired ladies. I was doing the "Paloma style" before she emerged on the main scene but it was upon reading this article that I realised we had quite a bit more our appearance in common.

My personal life motto, "everyday is fancy dress dah-ling" so frequently rolls from lips, but is so said in a way that is tongue in cheek and ever so slightly self deprecating. It is true that every day is fancy dress to me but that isn't necessarily referring to my sense of style reflecting that more of costume than of day wear. I spent many years searching for who I am, as I am sure does almost every young woman. I went on a journey before arriving at this point that I felt quite comfortable to express myself freely, and my chosen expression being my image and fashions. This said however, does not mean that I am completely safe and comfortable with who I am. I inwardly smile when somebody comments on how they wish they could have my confidence to go out dressed like I do - not caring what people think because the truth is actually more like the complete opposite. True, I don't care what people think about what I'm wearing, but I do care about what they think about me as a person. Dressing in the manner I do, in this "fancy dress", allows me to create a role for myself to play, I can walk out of my house playing a whole host of alter egos and therefore not myself. It's become somewhat of a personal little hobby of mine is adapting to being a different person in different situations, my favourite of course being the "diva dah-ling".

In reading this article with Paloma I was struck by the lines, "Faith, 25, has a deep need to dress up. Her "bog-standard look" is a pencil skirt, seamed stockings, a pair of heels, a silk shirt and a 1940's hat". Familiar much? It continues, "This is what she wears 'when I can't think'. When she can think there is no limit to the comedy clothing and rainbow-hued make-up she will don." She goes on to explain how a role in a primary school play allowed her to come out her shell, transforming from the painfully shy child she was, "I remember feeling like if it's not me it doesn't matter. And I still do that. You know, people ask me, 'Oh do you ever not dress up?' But it's to do with me sort of becoming somebody else in order to be confident".

Now this isn't to say I am not comfortable with who I am, incidentally I am very comfortable with who I am but I like to reveal that to only a select few, it's a method of self protection and almost a selection process if you like - this disguise gives me a distance at which to assess people and time to evaluate how they will respond to me and whether I can give them what they want and in return they can give to me. As Paloma commented, "When she's not dressed this way she thinks people are not as kind or respectful to me".

Dressing the way I do is my trademark - people recognise me instantly from behind, regardless of my current hair colour or that my style could be the complete opposite of the day before and I like this fact. It gives me a sense of purpose and my role in society. Like Paloma, my style has opened doors for me and people are intrigued by my creative ideas, I am not easily forgotten. I feel often that clothing is dismissed as unimportant outside of a fashion world but it communicates instantly with the receptor a lot about the wearer - even though neither part may realise it.

Now Paloma has an MA from Central Saint Martins, film and television work and a platinum album under her sequined garter and massively a lot of this kicked off thanks to her iconic style. Indeed she was asked to join her first band before any of them had heard her sing a note - the image sells. Now as it happens, in my opinion, Paloma has a sensational voice and following this article I found myself having to buy tickets to see her live at the end of October. The voice and the outfits in one place.

"Just close your eyes and make believe.
Do you want the truth or something beautiful?
I am happy to decieve you".
Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful - Paloma Faith.

...Now I'm just panicking about how not to be dressed in the "wannabe look a like" role at the concert.

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