When it comes to fashion and beauty, I am a huge fan of glamour. While some may call it superficial, I really couldn’t care less for that attitude as glamour is far more about equal opportunities than most aspects of the fashion industry. You can be any age or body shape, with far from model-like levels of attractiveness, and glamour will still make you look and feel a million dollars.
I used to prefer the classic and timeless glamour favoured by the likes of Dita Von Teese, but now that just feels so… safe. I want bigger, bolder, brasher glamour. Think soap characters like Alexis Colby in Dynasty and Coronation Street’s Bet Lynch, or style icons Iris Apfel and Amber Butchart. It’s the ‘oh, go on, add another bit of sparkle’ school of glamour. The ultimate execution of this has to be Bianca Del Rio completely covered, from headdress to toe, in silver glitter when handing over the crown at the end of season 7 of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Oh, how I swooned. Drag has always cast a spell over me, but I find the over-the-top parody of femininity favoured by queens like Del Rio and Meth to be the most engaging. Sarcastic humour dressed up like a Disney villain on acid? Bring it on!
Although this kind of glamour works well on stage or in front of a camera, it’s not for the faint-hearted in everyday life. Some of the looks I love the most appear to be those that many would think are hideous, and you have to have an iron will to put up with all the attention that attracts. When my friend (and fellow Drag Race fan) Edward and I visited The Vulgar: Fashion Redefined at The Barbican, we marvelled at how these garments – which were once considered vulgar in some way by tastemakers – all seemed to be rather marvellous to our eyes. Giant skirts, huge sleeves, nude illusions, acres of embroidery and embellishment… it was only the RIHANNAxMANOLO ‘9 to 5’ bejewelled thigh-high denim boots that had us screaming “nooooooo” and running for the door.
The acceptance of the vulgar is what makes dressing for the winter holiday season so appealing. Whether it’s a nationwide understanding of the joy that can be found in a gaudy Christmas jumper, or the fact that wearing huge garish sparkly accessories is considered normal for one month out of twelve, festive dressing is just so much fun. Tis the season for shiny fabrics, big hair, glitter and adding more make up to your eyelids than you ever thought possible. Even if, like me, you usually ask “is this too much?”, rest assured that the answer at this time of year is always “no”.
And, for Xmas 2016, the glitter’s not just for the high-femmes either. On a recent visit to the menswear department at one of the many Zara stores on Oxford Street, I was overjoyed at the number of shiny garments with velvet, sequins, and embroidery (thanks for the inspiration Gucci!). So, embrace your inner diva and go over-the-top this festive season. You may not have the balls to continue when January comes around, but don’t be scared to bring a bit of sparkle to December. I promise you wont regret it.