It’s amazing how a handful of words, which are often strung together by a person of significance, are capable of stirring emotions we never knew even existed within us. Above all, quotes help us to gain new perspectives — regardless of whether we agree or disagree with them.
When we learn to look at situations from the eyes and minds of others, we become more mindful and confident of our own identity, morals and values. Read on as we round up the five best fashion quotes that you should always live by.
"I think there is beauty in everything. What 'normal' people perceive as ugly, I can usually see something of beauty in it.” — Alexander McQueen
Why it matters: It’s time for us to do away with beauty stereotypes and allowing society to dictate what is considered ’normal’ and what is not. Instead, let’s learn to embrace all kinds of beauty in everything and not define it by a certain colour, race or size.
The late British fashion designer and couturier Alexander McQueen never subscribed to the traditional ideals of what was considered ’normal’ in society and in fashion. Growing up, he was teased for his homosexuality. As someone who was not born into a wealthy family, he remained steadfast in working his way up in the industry and successfully established his namesake luxury fashion house that still stands today.
One of McQueen's most notable ‘ugly’ creations was a pair of “bumster” trousers, which were cut so low that they revealed the cleavage of the backside. Another design that had created a pop culture phenomenon was his 10-inch “Armadillo” heels, which were famously worn by pop singer Lady Gaga in her Bad Romance music video.
"Luxury is the ease of a T-shirt in a very expensive dress." — Karl Lagerfeld
Why it matters: Instead of associating luxury with feathers, jewels, exotic leather and other fanciful embellishments, try thinking of luxury of as an intangible quality that helps you to showcase the best version of yourself.
The late German fashion designer and photographer Karl Lagerfeld was no stranger to creating beautiful, expensive dresses. Having held creative director roles at Chanel, Fendi and at his own eponymous fashion label, Lagerfeld possessed an inimitable eye for luxury design. He knew that an expensive dress was simply just an expensive dress — it only becomes luxurious when the woman wearing it truly feels beautiful, confident and comfortable in it.
“Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.” — Rachel Zoe
Why it matters: Treat fashion as a means of self-expression; your clothes alone can help you do all the talking.
First impressions matter, and as American fashion stylist Rachel Zoe has shared, what you wear is an extension of how you portray yourself, and it speaks lengths about who you are. Rachel Zoe was considered one of the original ‘celebrity’ stylists who was highly sought after in the entertainment industry for her excellent connections with fashion designers, publicists and celebrities.
She starred in her own reality TV show titled The Rachel Zoe Project and had counted Jennifer Lawrence, Anne Hathaway and Miley Cyrus amongst her long list of clients. Her words are a true reflection of how a good stylist is capable of turning an otherwise ordinary actress into a shining Hollywood star.
“You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it.” – Edith Head
Why it matters: It’s incredibly important to manifest your goals, so start by visualising that job or that role that you want. The term “dress for success” perfectly sums this up.
The late American costume designer Edith Head knew better than anyone else that the clothes you wear possess the ability to transform your entire look — after all, she was well-respected in the film industry for her outstanding contributions in costume design and was responsible for the magnificent gown that movie star Grace Kelly wore in Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window.
If Edith’s quirky appearance looks familiar to you, it’s because she was the inspiration behind the lovable character 'Edna Mode' in the superhero cartoon film The Incredibles.
“Fashion is the armour to survive the reality of everyday life.” — Bill Cunningham
Why it matters: Fashion is a beautiful form of distraction especially in the most trying of times. It reminds us that amidst all of the chaos, boredom and negativity that we deal with in our lives, therein still lies beauty, creativity and so many unique forms of self-expression that are worth capturing and preserving.
The late American photographer Bill Cunningham was who you would call a ’street style’ photographer before the term became mainstream. He captured candid and street photography for the New York Times in the late 1970s and was a regular fixture on the fashion circuit. As such, Bill was all too familiar in seeing first-hand the way people from different walks of life would dress.
Fashion, in a sense, has the ability to protect you — an evening ballgown helps you put on a facade that you are a glamorous and elegant individual, even if you’re feeling all sorts of self-doubt on the inside. A sharp blazer, on the other hand, sends a strong message that you mean business.
Which of these fashion quotes is your favourite?
(Cover photo from: @alexandermcqueen)
Next, read about the rising Southeast Asian designers who are disrupting the fashion industry.