Skater inspired style has very much been having its five minutes of fame lately. I think perhaps it all started when everyone started wearing high tops, or possibly owing to our cultural obsession with festival fashion. The fusion of a laidback look and the fact that this way of dressing is often very much constructed, has led to the popularity of a very dressed up version of an otherwise casual approach to style. The fact that even Vogue magazine has featured an article on incorporating aspects of a skater look into the wardrobes of their readers, despite the median age of their audience being 37.9 genuinely shocks me. Not that I’m suggesting that the ability to pull off such a look truly revolves around age at all, it is definitely an attitude based vibe. However, the fact that such a glossy high-end fashion magazine is analysing and deconstructing an age-old lifestyle skater look somehow whisks away a large chunk of appeal towards the whole sense of style.
When I recently flicked through a certain low brow publication that is targeted at domesticated women in their fifties, I could not for the life of me understand why the models were shown on skateboards. Sure, the fashion industry is known for jumping on popular trends, but why follow one that seems more than likely to alienate the intended audience? Perhaps this is yet another example of our society’s obsession with youth being taken to the extreme. Much like the over-use of botox, trying overly hard to appear youthful often works in reverse, instead exaggerating age rather than masking it. Make no mistake, this trend may have ‘trickled up’ from the streets, but the high fashion interpretations are sure to never flow back down to those who have always remained loyal to their uniform of slouchy beanies, oversized baggy tees, cut off denim shorts and thick soled trainers.
The day that luxury designers started producing £300 skater inspired footwear, was the day it all went a little too far and got a tad too absurd in my opinion. Yes, the Christian Louboutin high tops are indeed works of art, but would you ever really wear them anywhere they could get the slightest little speck of dust on them? Please please please, just buy a pair of Vans and let them get grubby. There is a fine line between putting effort into emulating a style that fits with your lifestyle, and simply generically copying something from the pages of an editorial spread. A genuine, relaxed skater look will never look quite right on a high heel devoted, manicure dependent individual, who can’t leave the house without a professional blow dry. And I have to say, I really wish they wouldn’t try.
The appeal of the skater image is often linked to the popular ideal of the laidback Californian lifestyle that us Brits often can’t help but long for, especially when our long awaited summer days end up being disappointingly overcast. Company magazine have even just produced a fantastic ‘California dreaming’ themed July issue, filled with enviably tanned beauties sporting effortless beach hair, bold prints and thick rimmed sunnies, that had me instantly prioritising getting my dual nationality arranged. Sadly over here, few of us can pull off rollerskating or longboarding as a valid mode of transport as in Venice Beach, but for those who suit it, the fashion styling will always be open to imitation.
By Sophie Seymour