We've Found It: The Secret to Not Dressing Like Everyone Else

I think my love for fashion started at a Little House on the Prairie cookout in the second grade. You may think that an 1800s–themed potluck isn’t the best place to glean outfit inspiration, and you’d definitely be right in that assumption. The school picnic tables were full of girls running around in braided pigtails and tiny white bonnets as their reluctant fathers stood grilling burgers in stained, worn button-downs and cheap cowboy hats—not exactly an NYFW kind of crowd. Despite the costumey atmosphere, I remember wanting nothing more than to wear my petticoat and high-neck folk dress to school every day after that. From a young age, I’ve always been more interested in pieces that reflect a larger aesthetic as opposed to fad accessories. In middle school, I never wanted silly bands or Kanye West shutter shades, but I remember buying an antique German apron at a flea market and living in it. I like to think that as I’ve grown, I’ve been able to hold onto the part of my personal style that is drawn toward unique, outfit-making items.

If you’re anything like me—which, maybe after my Little House of the Prairie spiel, you’ll be less inclined to think so—then deciding what to wear in the morning usually consists of scrolling through the “saved” images feature on Instagram and consulting some of my favorite bloggers for outfit inspiration. Although I will always love emulating blogger looks and appreciate the ease with which I can shop their exact clothes, I often feel as though I’m losing out on the creative aspects of fashion by merely “following the crowd.” This summer, it seems as if my Instagram feed has become a sea of Réalisation Par Alexandra dresses and Cult Gaia bags. So in an attempt to dress less trendily and more timelessly, I’ve turned to visual art for new sources of style inspiration.


Collage Vintage

As someone who studied art history in college and happens to possess an equal interest in clothing, I find it difficult not to conflate the two artistic mediums. In search of inspiration for their runway shows, designers have been returning to historical influence for years, including Erdem’s most recent ready-to-wear collection as well as Prada’s. Erdem’s F/W 17 line seems awfully reminiscent of the French Rococo, where Moralioglu’s gowns are compositions in velvet and silk. He uses high necklines, structured bodices, and gilded florals to make his runway models look like modern manifestations of reclined, artfully painted French noblewomen. Due to the fact that we view clothing as a reflection of the time period in which it’s produced, separating fashion from art becomes nearly impossible. Think of yourself as a canvas: Fashion becomes so much more personalized and tied to self-expression since everyone engages with it daily by conveying their individual style through the clothes they wear. Whether you’re drawn to early classical periods of art like Baroque painting or Rococo interiors or more contemporary endeavors such as pop art or minimalism, there’s plenty of inspiration to go around.

Go on to see which art movements we love to draw inspiration from and to shop some creative pieces that will surely help you stand out from the crowd.