Finding Your Personal Style, Lesson #3: Create Your Own Visual Style
There is something fundamentally important in being different, in setting yourself apart from the masses to be unique. It is the ability to be different without fading yourself out from society and things going on around you. Being different means drawing from people and happenings around you and trying to turn every movement, moment, and every impression into something you can use as a) a source of inspiration or b) something that gives you a new perspective on the way you see yourself and/or others see you.
Fashion designer Donna Karan once put it perfectly by saying that “an interest in fashion (or yourself) doesn’t necessarily imply a disconnect from the world.” In most cases, it means that those who are aware of who they are or try to become more acquainted with themselves actually have a higher interest in other people or are more attentive to what is going on around them.
An interest in fashion as well as in developing your own style implies that you are not just connected to the fashion world of runway shows and VOGUE — it means taking on your environment, getting inspired by the space you live in and translate it into something you can draw from, something that makes you grow personality-wise and therefore, also style-wise.
Lesson #3: “Create Your Own Visual Style… let it be unique for yourself and yet identifiable for others.” —Orson Welles
The ability to think visually is something you can train if you try hard. It is about training your imagination as well as your brain. To think visually means being educated and knowing a lot about your environment, its history, people, emotions, literature, etc. Thinking visually implies having the ability to transform every mood into something you can draw from — may it be a certain word or text, people or their behavior, a city or a its buildings.
There are so many things to be inspired by; so many words to write and read, so many dresses to wear, so many style directions one could develop into. It is all about development. Focus on analyzing your environment, look at small things, find the flaw in things and the beauty as well, look carefully at where you are and who you are with. Then, take a second look and maybe even a third. Keep in mind that impressions change the more often you get them. Some impressions can never be made a second time, like the first. Keep that in mind and react upon what is out there right in front of your eyes. Turn the invisible visible. Make it approachable to you. Fit it to your mood and needs and personality.
Create your own visual style. Look at other people, look at pictures, look at celebrities, look characters from books, look at whoever or whatever you want to look at. Then, try to transform what you saw into something you can work it. Analyze it; don’t just see the things you like and would love to be. See what hides behind the obvious surface, take a close look at things and also keep in mind that things never are always lipgloss and roses — every surface sometimes cracks. Mostly, it is those cracks that make it special and different, identifiable but at the same time unique.
Being different doesn’t necessarily imply that you have to put on a wig and a show and just do your thing no matter what. Being different means working out your best features, underlining them and developing yourself throughout the process of finding out who you are and how YOU actually look like versus how you want to look like. There is no space for playing pretend or playing games — developing style can only come from the true within, from who you are underneath the makeup and clothes and skin and bones. Remember that the inside reflects the outside and vice versa — dress according to that.
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