When I started this blog, I wanted it to become a place where girls who were “CounterCouture” could come to find new ideas and inspiration.
What I have never done, in almost 4 years of blogging, is set out what I meant by “CounterCouture”.
So I’m going to have a go at doing that here.
Why did I start CounterCultural. CounterCouture?
When I started this blog, I was a very bored and somewhat disgruntled graduate who was becoming increasingly frustrated with the Great British High Street for a few reasons:
- Clothes seemed to be getting smaller and smaller, e.g. crop tops, cut out dresses and tiny shorts.
- The trends and fashions on offer never quite suited my style or personality.
- All the shops seemed to sell the same clothes everywhere – there was no variety!
I needed somewhere to vent my frustrations but that would force me to so in a positive way. I also found myself increasingly grateful for my friend, Chrissi, from my first year, who was a Christian goth. She had shown me that wearing the clothes you loved, that fitted your personality and made you feel good about yourself was far more rewarding than being “on trend ever could be”.
“Trendy is the last stage before tacky.” Karl Lagerfeld
I decided that enough was enough. It was time someone presented an alternative to the catwalk-and-couture-inspired high street shops. Someone who understood the advantages of shopping around alternative shops (online and bricks-n-mortar), wasn’t afraid to rummage through the rails of local charity shops, and how to combine style with modesty.
In short, I started CounterCultural. CounterCouture. to reach girls and women who had the same frustrations and questions that I had about fashion, style and the whole confusing mix.
What did “CounterCouture” mean?
The “CounterCouture” part of the blog was meant to be me “sticking it to the man” (can you tell I’ve seen School of Rock?). A chance to showcase how I blended my love for alternative styles, especially goth and rockabilly, with a desire to be modest and a tendency to search through charity shops on a regular basis. I’ve created some brilliant outfits (Charity Couture Joules Jacket or Inspired by British Grannies Skirt) and some down right weird ones (Maxi to the Midi Skirt or DC Trinity Outfit). The one thing they all have in common is that they have all been 100% me while also in some way opposing the culture of fashion that is prevalent in Britain today.
One of the big parts of “CounterCouture” was encouraging modesty. I even wrote a couple of posts looking at what the Bible says about it (Biblical Inspiration: 1 Peter 3 v3-4 and Biblical Inspiration: 1 Corinthians 6 v19-20) at the beginning. I wrote posts giving tips and hacks for making my high street finds more modest, during the era of the sheer top that showed everything!
The reality, though, is that I didn’t really understand much about what modesty really was. I thought that if I kept everything covered – no low cut tops, no tight bums, no bra straps on show, etc. – then I would be sorted. So that is what I did. I bought several bandeaus and tight camisoles to cover up my boobs when they might show. I ordered longline tops to cover my bum and shirts to cover bra straps when it was too warm for cardigans. I took photos of these outfits to put on the blog so that others could learn what modesty meant through my mistakes and successes.
“CounterCouture” was all about the outfits and how modest or alternative they were.
What does “CounterCouture” mean?
Nowadays, the “CounterCouture” part of CounterCultural. CoutureCouture. doesn’t receive as much space on the blog as I’d like it to. It’s been kind of squeezed out by food, faith and lifestyle posts. While I know that’s part of my journey from being a modest fashion blogger to a Christian lifestyle blogger (pretentious title alert!), it’s something I want to rectify and give more time back to.
When I think about “CounterCouture”, I think more about how to style maxi skirts with checked shirts than how to emphasise the modest attributes of a gothic wardrobe. Or writing posts about what modesty really means rather than how to make the latest trends modest.
You see, to be “CounterCouture” isn’t subscribing to a set of rules in opposition to the high street or catwalk. It’s not about making sure you skirts are a minimum length. Even alternative styles are optional. “CounterCouture” is about being at ease in your style regardless of whether you like the trends or not. It’s about mixing up your style so that it tells the world who you are.
God and “CounterCouture”
So where does God fit into this whole “countercouture” style? Being a Christian is at the very core of my identity. Throughout my teenage years, university degrees and learning to be an adult, Christianity has been part of me. As I’ve walked through my life, I’ve given over to a desire to embrace Christ in everything. That includes working out how to make my faith part of my wardrobe.
If having a “countercouture” wardrobe means being at ease in my style and my self, then it has to be centred around Christ. For me that means dressing in a way that respects Christ and His sacrifice on the cross. There is also an element of respecting my brothers in Christ by not putting temptation in their way. This all influences the choices I make as I get dressed in the morning.
What does “CounterCouture” mean to you?
Now it’s your turn. What does being “countercouture” mean to you? Whether you dress like a unicorn or in black maxi skirts, your style should express your self. It should tell the world about who you are.
The post Setting the CounterCouture Bar || What’s Your Style? first appeared on CounterCultural. CounterCouture.