Fashion Transition – Your Journey Through Fashion

I have always felt strongly about the way I dress and present myself.  This does change over time and if you told me while I was studying fashion design that one day I would move slightly from my vintage inspiration and toward something more classic, I would not have believed you.

Wearing reworked vintage – Signal Hill, Cape Town

The phases in your life change the way in which you perceive the world and in which you want the world to perceive you. For me I started with a rock-Nirvana inspired look. Black combat trousers and tie dye tops (I can’t believe I am admitting to this on a publicly viewed site).

Third Year Final show – Evening wear

After school, at University, I channelled vintage, so much so that it took over my third year collection in my fashion design degree. This was really my signature look and was my inspiration for years and still is, but entering the working world changed that somewhat. Working in an office you have to dress a certain way, but still retain your personal style. So I bought a few not-too-stiff suits and chiffon and lace tops to wear under that and the key item: the pencil skirt.

Even though the office job did not last a year the blazers and the blouses did. I moved on to managing a fashion retail store and this new level of responsibility and authority morphed the way I presented myself. I enjoyed power dressing, though nothing as extreme as a lawyer. Thankfully the position was in fashion so one does keep an edge to the way you dress. There is nothing like feeling tired come Monday and donning a red, knee length, body-con dress and black blazer to make you feel in control of your world.

Something that I have been looking for, for a more fitting name, is the ‘All Saint’s look’. You know the one – grey and other muddy colours with black leather jackets. Now, I will never denounce my precious colours, but more and more I say the words: “That with a black leather jacket would look stunning” or “Just add a black leather jacket.” I think it is a move to a more classic look but combining that with the vintage and smart inspirations from before.

I would love to hear from all of you what your journey has been like.

Bernadine Walters is a South African currently residing in London.