They say a city grows on you. But the funny thing is you never knew it does until it is time to leave.
While I have never called Brighton home, the scent and smell of the city has rubbed on me. And it has impacted the way I dress. The evidence? This Gold skull sweater that yours truly is sporting in this look.
Prior to Brighton, or perhaps in a greater extent UK, I would not be caught dead in any golden item bigger than my palm. Somewhere at the back of mind, there was this appalling notion that a metallic golden item runs the risk of appearing cheap and costume-like. And that pieces as such should function like your Christmas sweater, only making their appearance for special occasion like a Halloween party.
It is only too easy to end up as describe above but I came to realized that the thin line between costume and chic is the choice in styling. By matching a loud piece with more tailored or conservative pieces, I was able to achieve a comfortable equilibrium. Then, there was the change in perspective on styling and vintage.
It was not just the fact that Brighton is a vintage and antique hotspot. The atmosphere around the city, which many of my visitors dubbed as being hippie, has a liberating effect on the style of its residents. But it may also be the residue of its overtly vocal 70s past on the city’s spirit. However, it is more likely the influx of students (many of them aspiring in the Arts) that prompted and maintained this alternative styling. Rainbow hair rubs shoulders with Vintage clad in the street and pass by Tees with Jeans. Is it peacocking? Perhaps, but they carry it with a je ne se quoi attitude that it feels like they are almost born in that.
There is certain grittiness in Brighton that my OCD-self found it difficult to accept in large dose initially. But once you accept it as part of the charm, and peer deeper, this grittiness may be the resource of its liberating outlook. You can’t jump in and get your hands dirty if your surrounding is too uptight or pristine (despite my favouring the latter). As with my venture on new styling options, I see an increasing stint of vintage in my wardrobe. And have been tempted more than once to play with unconventional hair colors and styling.
At this point, I have to admit that I have never fully appreciated Brighton for what it is, except its myriad of café and close proximity to London. While I regret never being able to fall in love with this place during my time here, I am grateful for the experience, good or bad. To me, Brighton has become an important transitional town etched in my timeline of growth.
Wearing Golden Skull sweater scored in Camden, Newlook Navy Golden zip skirt, Uniqlo tights, Asos Black Leather buckle boots and shades stolen from the photographer because the sun is too bright.
photos by Esther John.
p.s. technically this is the Hove beach but lets not be too technical about pinpointing locations.