not so annoying once again

There was a time where Sienna Miller decided to take style seriously, and sought to upset the public in a serious of increasingly hideous outfits clearly designed to prove that she had personal style to begin with. It didn't work. Outfits like this -

NEVER work. Consciously deciding to change your style kind of defeats the idea of personal style to begin with - it means you've chosen to define your look, instead of wearing whatever pleases you. It deadens things and it's just not cool to try so hard. It's not even so-bad-it's-good, it's just bad.

Recently however, she has shown up in public looking rather nice again -

I like the striped Calvin Klein best, followed by the nude beaded vintage Calvin Klein slip. She's wearing them her own way - it's not a recognisable, straight-from-the-runway look, and that's always a good thing. It's less of that everyone-has-the-same-good-taste thing.

I don't know, maybe I have mainstream tastes, but I think all this is nicer than that leggings-as-pants thing she had going on. She looks comfortable, just slightly offbeat, and not too styled. Did she hire a genius stylist? Did her sister finally sit her down for a heart-to-heart talk and convince her that instead of trying so hard to be the next Kate Moss, she was better off polishing her acting skills and showing up in vaguely attractive getups?

I don't know. I don't care. I like her cool and somewhat kooky new looks and I never understood why people like to complicate things by trying so hard to create a unique style. If you have a gift for looking original in a dress a million other people have worn, why not start from there? Her more statement-making outfits never seem entirely convincing - even she looked dubious about them.

Can we not go down the road of Mischa Barton, who alternates her pretty-but-boring Diors with bizarre attire like this -

Ms Barton is another pretty girl trying to prove that not only can she pull off a pretty dress better than everyone else, she has 'personal style' too.

I read her 'How I Get Dressed' interview in The Guardian, and it was full of cliched nonsense like 'My parents dressed us with a fairly English sensibility' and 'Now I'm mostly influenced by women in the Sixties and Seventies, like Anita Pallenberg or Marianne Faithfull. Those were the people I had up on my wall when I was little.'

It's all a little unconvincing if you ask me. She had Marianne Faithfull on her wall when when she was little? What is a 'fairly English sensibility'?

And she praises the pros of having a stylist around, 'because I like to throw a bunch of things on and I do my thing - and I could probably dress quite hippy-dippy if I didn't have someone to sometimes tell me 'no'!' Errrr. Right.

I don't really buy into her attempts to convince people that she has such a quirky, offbeat way of dressing. I don't know why she even attempts to explain it. Maybe it's not her fault that people put that question to her to begin with. Maybe she gets paid very well to do these publicity things.

Maybe if we stopped asking people to explain their style, all this nonsense about 'defining your look' will come to an end and people will finally just wear what feels right to them, and the whole celebrity fashion landscape would look a lot more interesting. I mean, making them explain themselves or trying to explain what they do seems like a bad idea - they will try to make themselves interesting and end up like Ms Miller and Ms Barton, looking strange and desperate.
But I think I'm being idealistic. Even fashion designers use stylists now. Is it for better or worse?


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