Today I bring you a special little interview with my good friend Carine of Fashion of Note. I wish I could say Carine and I go way back, but we only go back as far as last year and I have Japanese manband Arashi to thank for our fateful meeting. At the end of last year, before I even had my blog up and running, she asked to interview me for her own blog and here I am returning with the deep questions.
After months of doing our fangirl thing over the Internet, we were able to spend the evening with our favorite people in, of all places, Fukuoka, Japan. She is a contributing influence as to why I picked up blogging again, so I give her my thanks! Her knowledge of designers and collections from way back when blows my mind since I can barely recall what I ate for lunch yesterday. Carine’s style is maximalist in her approach and execution and she works it for every day. She’ll inspire you to incorporate more color into your wardrobe and if you don’t have the color yellow in your closet, one look at her Instagram and you’ll definitely be inspired!
From one fashion fan to another, it was so much fun reading through Carine’s answers to my questions! That being said, let’s get on to the interview!
Tell us a little about yourself and what made you start Fashion of Note.
I’m a graphic designer/fashion enthusiast. I’ve loved fashion since I was a child but I really became really passionate about it when I studied fashion history at Uni. I started Fashion of Note so that I could have an outlet to jot down my thoughts on fashion, whether it be about a runway collection, designers or my own personal style.
Many comment on fashion as frivolous, ruled by capitalism, a danger to the earth and I’d love to hear your thoughts on such comments.
I do think that there’s truth in that statement. Fashion is one of the biggest money makers and one of the most polluting industries in the world, and I think that the industry needs to look at ways to change the system so that it is more sustainable. Fashion is moving at such a fast pace at the detriment to people’s lives (Rana Plaza disaster), and the environment – fast fashion creates so much waste.
As much as I love fashion, I can definitely understand how people can see it as frivolous, most of the time it is. I think the rise of social media has contributed to this. Most influencers only seem to be interested in #OOTD posts and sharing their abundant wardrobes. Fashion should be more than about what designer ‘it’ handbag you’re instagramming. Fashion becomes much more interesting when you start to look at its context in the greater world. Throughout all of history we see how fashion can be representative of the cultural fabric of the times. Unfortunately I believe that we’re living in a time where people are only interested in what perfect life they can convey on social media, hence the rise of influencers.
While it is a long time coming, we are finally starting to see some fast fashion retailers incorporating sustainability practices into their business and becoming transparent with their supply chains (e.g. ASOS launching a sustainability training program for designers in June and H&M releasing a sustainability report in April). Do you think they can convince their consumers of their intentions?
Sadly, I think the vast majority of consumers don’t really care about sustainable fashion and only care about what’s new. It’s hard to not be skeptical at some of the big fast fashion chains and their attempts at appearing to take on sustainability, It’s a good marketing strategy to have a “sustainable” line (eg. H&M Conscious). They can appear to be caring about the environment and the garment workers while still selling questionably produced garments in their main line. I do think that the fast fashion model, by default, is not sustainable and has shady practices in the supply chain. So in order to truly be sustainable they need to adopt a slower model.
What do you think we can do as consumers to contribute to sustainability in the fashion industry?
Buy less and less frequently. Buy vintage and pre-loved. Also, use the ‘Good on You’ App and make informed choices about where you buy.
If you had the opportunity to raid the closet of one person, living or deceased, who would it be and why?
This is a really tough question! I think I’d have to pick Leandra Medine. I absolutely love her maximalist style and her bold fashion and philosophy of dressing for yourself really resonates with me.
Dresses or top & jeans?
Dresses. I find dresses way more comfy.
How do you think social media is affecting the way we dress? Do you think it is different from those who grew up without social media than it is from those who did not?
I do think social media has a tremendous influence on the way we dress. It’s hard not to get caught up in the cycle of comparing oneself to others you see on your Instagram feed. I think that what’s changed compared to those who grew up without social media is that there’s a wider range of people to be influenced by. There used to be only celebrities and models, whereas these days you can curate your feed to those who’s style you relate to the most, and they can be anyone from all around the world. I also think that the rise of Instagram has seen the rise of logomania and maximalist style. Those sorts of bold style images with obvious designer wares is what tends to get the most engagement on social media.
Do you think one can be fashionable and modest at the same time?
Absolutely! I feel like fashion overall is moving towards modesty. You don’t need to show skin to be fashionable, it’s how you co-ordinate and style your clothes that determine whether you’re fashionable.
Can you share any views on the relationship between one’s social identity and style?
In terms of my own social identity, I try and make sure my feed reflects my authentic style. Outfits and clothes I wear day in and day out. I understand however, that for some people, there’s a gap between their social identity and their real style. Their social media world can be full of images of them in clothes they buy and then return once the picture is taken. This I feel is a damaging practice that promotes waste, and the need to project something that is not real to keep up with the Joneses, rather than truly reflecting one’s own personal style.
Talk about the one most treasured piece in your closet.
I have a Proenza Schouler dress that I bought pre-loved that I absolutely love and will treasure forever. It’s a runway look from the Autumn/Winter 2014 collection and the craftsmanship in it is insane! It’s truly a well constructed, beautifully made piece. And it’s just stunning to me. I love Proenza Schouler, and to own one of their runway pieces is just something that makes the fashion fangirl in me totally geek out.
Photo Credit: @emma_russell
Thanks for reading!