“Life’s Way Too Beautiful and Fascinating to Spend Time On Fashion Rules”. Discuss.

Clemence Poesy need not remind us, ‘Life’s Way Too Beautiful and Fascinating to Spend Time On Fashion Rules’. No one does anyway.

Clemence Poesy Harry Potter vogue


Such a nugget of wisdom, quoted in Vogue May 2010 Issue, is apparently the kind of off hand comment French actress Clemence Poesy comes out with all the time.  Emboldened in size eighteen across her pretty face it looks majestic, but in fact most of us don’t need telling there is more to life.  'Fashion Rules' take up only fleeting moments of thought and the general public is more interesting that she gives us credit for.  

To dismiss the comment solely on the basis of my jealousy – that I too can’t skip down Parisian streets in an outfit worth over a term’s student loan – would be bitter.  But, indulge me momentarily; life is only that ‘beautiful’ if a team of stylists make it so.  Or, if it ever is ‘beautiful’ I am not convinced that filming Harry Potter in Bayswater, as she was doing at the time of the interview, is a more noble occupation than indulging a few seconds of every day checking you are not wearing brown with black.  Is it?

In the nineties one could wear t-shirts with sleeves sewn in and in the fifties a dress had to be the same length as your matching frock coat.  But, 'Fashion Rules' no longer exist.  Instead, as individuals we all define our own criteria of what we consider acceptable – influenced by our figures (I will never be able to wear leggings as trousers), upbringing (I would be shot for wearing red with yellow.  Mother never liked ketchup with egg yolk) and attitude (neon’s would warrant unwelcome attention).  It goes without saying, beautiful Miss Poesy, that no time is wasted in deciding these, they are never made into a list, but rather are instinctual.    

My self imposed ‘rules’ don’t make getting dressed take any longer.  While I would stop to dig out a pair of tights that weren’t laddered, I don’t find myself in legwarmers by accident.  They are safely stowed in the fancy dress box where they can’t offend anyone in inappropriate circumstances.  The point is that no one flitters away their ‘beautiful’ life imposing 'Fashion Rules' because instead what is essentially a sense of style underpins the way we shop.  

If a 'Fashion Rule' is to wear, well, what’s in fashion, then Poesy is still wrong.  In reality, very few people worldwide have the money to re-invent their wardrobe entirely as seasons come and go, or care enough to start from scratch.  We are influenced by trends as the high-street becomes hypnotised by the catwalk.  Any Topshop purchase will be ‘of the moment’ and buying and wearing it is following a trend, but I would guess very few set out to the Grand Arcade in search of the nautical.  Yes, one fumbles around in the stripey section because we have been brainwashed to think it’s cool, but this isn’t a choice we have invested time in making.  We are already too busy being fascinated by other things.