<< back to News

SHABBY CHIC – The revival of the real





Every time I enter the world of celeb-ville via a magazine, T.V or advertisement, I am always overwhelmed by how perfect these creatures are.  With their bright white teeth, perfectly formed eye brows, poker straight hair, pert boobs and iron board stomachs.  Urgh, could a girl feel any worse?!  Well, apparently so, because as well as looking a million dollars, they earn that amount in a day.


{mosimage}You have supermodels like the flawless Naomi Campbell, screen goddess Nicole Kidman with her Hollywood glamour, Beyonce with her perfect hair to go with her perfect set of bling, you have Sienna Miller with her unwashed hair, no make up, mixed up cowgirl look and … hold on, did you just say, ‘NO make up?’ Is she gorgeous? Yes. Has she got style to die for? Yes.  Does she spend 10 hours a day grooming herself into a L.A pool babe clone? No.  Miss. Miller, like a growing number of the new ‘scruffs’, seem to have started a trend and are working the whole ‘shabby chic’ look, proving that you can still look good without actually giving a damn.


They are the ones who stand out in a crowded room, the ones who are laid back and never have the worry of ‘Does this top go with this skirt? Does my hair look frizzy? and ‘My nail varnish has chipped, my life is ooover!.’ These are the people everyone wants to get to know better and who have the confidence to be who they are and not be afraid to look different, they are the generation Lo-fi. The poster girls for this new brand of shabby chic are Sienna Miller, rock girls Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Ashlee Simpson, Kate Moss, models such as Hannelore Knuts and Omahyra, and even Lizzy Jagger, who was recently seen sporting unshaved pits and legs.


{mosimage}So what has made the fashion savvy throw down their tweezers and lady shavers and call it a day?

Considering that the ubiquity of the super groomed look has seen cosmetic surgery and enhancing products go up in sales, as well as self tanning products, which increased at the rate of 18% a year.  You would think that grooming was still on a high, as the products and procedures are so easy to get access to, not to mention more affordable.  With the wide variety of quick fix treatments, such as botox, collagen injections, chemical peels and facelifts, it seems that being artificial is becoming something of a normality and more a less expected rather than being suspected. 


This is why, I think people are now beginning to rebel against the grooming look and see it as a hassle they could do without. Future generations will see our addiction on par with the Chinese foot binding and the whole Footballers Wives/ LA poll babes will seem like some kind of cult. 

In order to stop yourself becoming one of these, you will have to, ironically, make less effort in order to stand out in the crowd.  It is as though these people are making a statement against weekly manicures and highlights and are saying, ‘I have got better things to do with my time than a blow dry.’ The counter trend against grooming could also be because people are now realising that it’s ‘ok’ to be individual and are sick of looking like a chain of manufactured and mass produced Barbie dolls. 


{mosimage}The whole notion of ‘Beauty is skin deep’ is also making a come back, as it doesn’t’t seem to matter what’s on the outside anymore, more about how you feel inside as a person and that you are deciding who you want to be, rather than what TOPSHOP wants you to be that season.

The aim is to emphasise your best features and what’s natural and accessorising your individualistic style and becoming more real.  It doesn’t mean throwing away your deodorant or lip gloss, but instead becoming more normal to your true self and less polished. A bit like the new age Punks, but without the swear words, green mohicans and the fact that they are fighting against fashion, not establishment!


Another country who have took on the whole shabby chic look is Russia. The ‘Anti-Barbie’ campaign was developed. Sick of seeing the perfected, Barbie girl look reign the catwalk and beauty pageant, they took a stand against what they called ‘indistinguishable, unnatural beauties who cannot be distinguished from each other.’  ‘Stop Barbie’ T-shirt were also a bit hit in Russia, and it seems that the UK will soon be following suit.

It seems that the aesthetic of Wabi-sabi, a belief that imperfection is beauty will be the next big cult, all about the revival of the real. Soon we will be seeing shops selling Wabi-sabi aesthetic items, such as pottery and one off clothing items in the UK.


{mosimage}The new shabby chic, isn’t saying that you should stop brushing your hair, stop with make up and stop washing full stop! Instead it is just telling you to chill out a little and enjoy the freedom.  Stop obsessing about your hair looking a mess and the lack of perfection on your face, because the new shabby chic is all about embracing the natural you.  And remember, next time you see a perfectly groomed face in a magazine, think that it will be you standing out in the crowd for being you, not an artificial botox devil.  Be beautiful!!



Kyrsty Hazell


<< back to News