'Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.' – Rachel Zoe
I am currently in Tanzania, a developing nation in East Africa, which has retained a strong sense of its identity and culture. Outside the window of the crowded bus to Dodoma I am fascinated by the wide array of bright colours that go flashing past. The women in this country take fashion quite seriously. Despite the absence of the European comforts, to which we have become accustomed, the women of Tanzania place great value in their presentation. The calculated selection of fabrics and the carefully coordinated colours demonstrate a devotion to fashion and provides a window to the diverse expressions of style that are on display around this vibrant world.
So what is it style? They obviously do not read our edition of Vogue but style evidently matters. ASOS does not yet deliver to the region, and credit cards have not found there place. Skinny is out and voluptuous is permanently in favour (as frequented by larger derrieres on mannequins). This innocent corner of the globe remains unaware of our favourite brands and celebrity designers. Are these women of Tanzania any less stylish than those at home in Australia?
The Masai, an indigenous tribe in Tanzania, believe that stretched ears with a large whole burnt in the lengthened skin, is not only the hottest fashion but also a sure way to attract a partner. In another Tanzanian region, it is fashionable for women to wear jewelry on their waist, where in another tribe, the focus is on the size of the earrings that hang proudly like chandeliers, lighting up the faces of the local tribal women. There is also no makeup industry, no fragrances, no post baby surgery and nothing to treat the seven signs of aging. What is apparent, is that fashion is merely a reflection of the culture that one lives in. Style however transcends illusionary boundaries such as wealth, geography and the imminent tides of the seasons. In the words of Yves Saint Laurent, ‘Fashions fades, style is eternal.' I would go one step further and say that ‘Style is internal’.
Through travels, it suggests that style is ownership of one's self. It involves embracing who you are, where you are and not doubting your value. This seems to be universal. Anybody can be fashionable, but it takes somebody to be stylish. It is far more than what you wear or how much you paid for it. It is the external reflection of your internal attitude, how you intrinsically feel about what you are representing to the world.
If you’re still trying to find your own style, be prepared to take a risk. The more you dress for others, the more you suppress your own sense of style. Wear what you like and be what you like. And that is what Lucia Josephine Styling is all about, providing you with a service to create a garment that exudes unadulterated confidence, which is sexy in any language. It's your story and only you can tell it xx
Co-written by Tee Noah (Contributor) and Lucia (Founder), Photography Ambrose Allen.