We should all be feminists. So says one of my favourite authors, Chimamanda Ngozi Adhichie (Half of a Yellow Sun, Purple Hibiscus), who recently got caught in a row over semantics about transgender women.
Back in the early naughties, I thought it was too twee to wear pink, and as for pink tulle? Get a grip! Fast forward a few years and people like Polly Vernon (Hot Feminist), Emma Watson and our very own Louise O’Neill are proclaiming their love for fashion with unashamed vigour. Is fashion compatible with feminism? You decide. There’s a great debate on this subject between Kathryn Flett, author of Separate Lives and Liz Hoggard, author of Dangerous Women: The Guide to Modern Life here.
Trust me, I have a point. Pink has always been my favourite colour but for some stupid reason I used to feel ashamed to wear it. I felt that embracing my feminine side was an admission of weakness (I know, ridiculous, right?) and that I should forgo blush and blooms for darker, edgier hues and patterns. Enter Molly Goddard stage left. Graduate of Central Saint Martins, Goddard began her career with a collection for Asos with a Spice Girls meets Barbie vibe. It was her autumn/winter 2015 collection that kind of blew my mind.
Molly Goddard’s muse might be clad head to toe in diaphanous tulle but she’s no princess. The NewGen designer’s inaugural eponymous collection drew its inspiration from art students of the 1950s; think Sunday afternoon hangs with Shirley Manson and Yoko Ono. Goddard showed unapologetically feminine sun-bleached ballgowns paired with flannel trousers, oversized lived-in jumpers and velvet leggings. This was taking your cake and eating it. Just like Queen VB, (who appears to have ditched high heels for good) Goddard was showing feminine with an edge. Embracing fashion meets function, it was finally kosher to wear ballgowns with flats and wooly jumpers and runners with errythang! Hell, it wasn’t just kosher, it was cooler!
I’m fast becoming addicted to buying pink tulle. Perhaps it’s because I spent so many years suppressing my attraction to it. And being blonde, I always felt like I couldn’t look “too girly”. Now that I’m in my thirties, I know it’s time to tear up the rules. I can wear pink tulle with glass slippers to Tesco if I like as long as my attitude is right. I’ve paired this River Island top with some ripped Penneys jeans to offset the “prettiness” of the look but if you want pretty, you go for pretty, girl! P.S. I really wish I’d worn a bra with this top but the bust part is very small. I’d recommend going for the Savida one I’ve linked below if you want to wear a bra!
Photos: Neal Byrne