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What Does it Mean to be a Fashionista?

No matter where we turn, it seems that fashion is upon us. It is chosen for us – for the elite and the high street shopper. And even when we consider ourselves as unfashionable, or unbothered, the fashion of being unfashionable or unbothered still manages to swallow us whole. But as London Fashion Week (LFW) quickly approaches, fashion is absolutely everywhere. 

So, we at VisualDNA, thought now would be a good time to investigate into why we are so fanatic about fashion, and how our psychological makeup makes us choose the clothes that we choose.

The London Fashion Week scene has changed over the years. Starting up in a London car park in 1984, it quickly took off, with then Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher and Diana, the Princess of Wales, attending just two years later. The glitz and glamor continued for LFW, with it being hosted in posh venues such as the Ritz and involving exclusive designers such as Stella McCartney. It’s a well-known fact that a large proportion of LFW followers are part of the rich and famous club, sharing an interest in luxury and designer goods only, LFW gives them the opportunity to buy the latest designer brands at industry insider prices.

However, as luxury brands become increasingly affordable and available to the masses, an influx of known high street brands will be showcasing this year, such as Jasper Conran, Aspinal of London, and Topshop. Fashionistas then take inspiration from these famous catwalks, and dedicate their time to finding the best brands that can help them craft a similar style. Before you know it, those unbothered by fashion are seen wearing it; with clothing brands ensuring their product lines adopt the latest trends to dress your back.

Those interested purely in luxury fashion will be in their element this year, as LFW showcases top designer brands, such as Osman, Huishan Zhang and Teatum Jones. They already know that micro florals, ruffles and shoulder shows will be the top trend over SS17, but these fashion followers are also searching for an experience.

These Fashionistas have the highest levels of openness and extraversion of any other LFW follower, meaning that they don’t just wear clothes to wear clothes – they want to be as differentiated as much as possible from the regular everyday outfits. Think Bjork and her famous swan dress, and that’s the level these followers expect to reach. 

Being highly open, they are not afraid to cross boundaries of what may or may not be considered tasteful or obscure, because they want to experience fashion in all of its forms. Being highly extraverted, these luxury fashion followers will want to dress to communicate to others. Their clothing will tell others at LFW that they are with the hottest trends, and this often means shopping at a luxury price tag too. Earning a high wage can also be important for these followers, as their taste in fashion, is expensive. Their high level of conscientiousness mean that they are looking for quality – paying attention to the thread count, the types of stitching, the type of material etc. Normal cotton for you or I will just not do!

However, their low neuroticism levels leave them with a sense of relaxation in most situations, and they have no level of anxiety on what others may think of them, or their fashion choice for that matter. Their self-confidence radiates, as much as their far-out, luxurious clothing does. 

However, everyone attending LFW will not be abstract clothed extroverts! Classic luxury buyers, looking at designer brands such as Parka London, Salt Spin and Helene Berman. still pay that luxury price-tag, but for more refined brands. Although attendees are still high in openness, these are not looking to differentiate their experience so much. They are looking to wear luxury brands in everyday situations, made of traditional materials that are bespoke, but without excessive design or embellishment. Their conscientious levels are equally as high as those fully invested into fashion, and so they will also be looking for the highest of quality goods, with small yet important details. Dressed to impress, you can be sure that these groups of people will still view clothing as a social dimension, and again, are not concerned about the social interaction their garments may bring.

And so, this brings us to our high-end design lovers, who will be keeping their eyes peeled for brands such as Estella Bartlett, Jigsaw, and Taylor Morris.

High in openness, these LFW goers are looking to keep within the trends and are open to change but within our highly open socialites, these attendees would be considered the ‘conservative’ ones.

Still looking for quality, these buyers will be looking for particular details and are aware of intricacies but it wouldn’t be the end of the world if a garment was 90% cashmere rather than 100%. Their high extraversion levels again mean that they will be dressed for the occasion (of course), but will also wear these brands on a daily basis.

Slightly higher in neuroticism, they think about others, yet remain confident and comfortable in the brands that they are choosing.

It is therefore safe to say that this year, there will be many different personalities that will be watching the catwalk, and of course, will be many more characters that we have not explored today. Let us know you psychological makeup by taking our quiz, here, and commenting below, to know if your choice in clothes works alongside your OCEAN type.

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