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Set your Style

August 26, 2014 | Thomas Krzyzanowski | Comments (1) Facebook Twitter More...

Björk and the Swan Dress

Image of Bjork in Swan Dress By Cristiano Del Riccio
[CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Whether walking to through the mall or down the halls at school, there’s an incredible amount of pressure to adopt particular fashion trends. Stores will push particular looks, magazines will declare certain accessories ‘must haves’ for anyone who wants to look stylish, and peer pressure can push one into taking on a group’s chosen sartorial decisions.

Its easy to go with the accepted and approved – to choose a normal wardrobe and blend in with with the people around you. Which is why those who take a risk and choose to break the mould and establish their own look are so amazing and cool.

Rookie Yearbook TwoI vividly remember the controversy that surrounded Bjork’s infamous Swan Dress, which she wore to the 2001 Oscars. While many in the conventional fashion world ridiculed her decision, others saw it as a fantastic garment, representative of a talented and unorthodox musician who wasn’t going to get too hung up on what Joan Rivers thought. Ultimately, I think that history is going to side with Bjork on this one – the Swan Dress she wore is still talked about, and whether you love or hate it, I think the general consensus is that Bjork was pretty cool and brave to make such a public and unconventional fashion statement. Haters gonna hate, but Bjork don’t care!

Several of the books on this year’s list celebrate people who break the rules and establish their own looks. Tavi Gevinson’s second Rookie Yearbook for example, celebrates teens who are more interested in exploring their world and making fashion and cultural choices that are brave and interesting than conventionally pretty.

The WORN ArchiveThe fantastic Toronto-based magazine WORN is another great publication that celebrates those who eschew traditional fashion to create looks of their own. Significantly, it makes a point of contesting traditional notions of beauty and takes special care to highlight those who challenge social restrictions on things like body image and gender to create amazing, idiosyncratic and beautiful fashion statements.

Making a break from the norm is really hard and can be scary as all get out. It can also mean catching a lot of shade from those who aren’t brave enough to try it themselves.  But it can also be a really liberating way of expressing one’s individuality.



Do you dare take a fashion risk? Where would you choose to break the fashion status quo?