The idea of having ‘It’
As many popularity smitten teens invest time and sweat into Kim Kardashian’s virtual innovation – Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, I wondered what was so tantalising about having your own electronic doppelgänger. The aim is to become the ‘It’ girl or boy that everyone wants to be seen with at Kim’s club opening, while socially climbing the fictional table and being persuaded to invest real money into the game in order to have the flashiest outfit. When I played the game myself I became aware of this bubble of status and society, which to some extent mirrors the one we all currently live in. When digging within the endless depths of Instagram, I discovered the predominant need for the image of girls in American Apparel tennis skirts and boys in bucket hats and long line Kanye West style t-shirts; taken from trends and well-known figures such as Kylie Jenner and Ian Connor. It could be said that it is inevitable that these outfits are overtaking feeds as both Kylie and Ian seem to have ‘It’.
Upon further research it became clear that the concept of specifically the ‘It’ girl, is difficult to define seeing as ‘It’ can mean many things. For instance the idea varies from, being a beautiful woman possessing sex appeal without flaunting her sexuality, to a girl that everyone wants to be because she is so high up in the fashion stakes that she’s ready to become someone’s muse. According to the socialite and novelist Elinor Glyn having ‘It’ refers to having a “strange magnetism” and a “virile quality” which applies to many women throughout the decades given this name.
Moving away from an age old view of having money and all the pearls a clam could possess, could it be possible that having ‘It’ is just a more complicated and mod way of telling someone that they are different. Despite her premature annoyance towards the phrase Alexa Chung adapted to it like size 8 feet in a pair of original Doc Martens, previously claiming that it was “ridiculous” and that it was for “people who have really wealthy dads and don’t do anything for a living”. However after that she felt flattered as the term is seen differently now and it has “applied to a larger variety of woman who are doing quite interesting things”. Chung is a writer, model and a full time cool girl. Her style is boyish at times with hints of femininity. Whether it’s pairing brogues with skater skirts or oversized plaid shirts with dark wash bottoms, she has paved her own concrete road to fashion success and many applaud her for it. This suggests that maybe this phrase is acceptable in the terms that people desperately want to achieve the things she has done and to buy the clothes she wears.
However does this mean that we have to idolise the ‘It’ boys and girls of the industry, in order to build our own personal sense of style? When talking to a male outlook on the concept of style as a whole, he was vocal to it saying that “Fashion is all about individuality which is something that people are striving for but do not gain. Fashion is a contradiction in terms of your attitude towards trends and when you realise that you are contradicting yourself that is when you are truly winning.” When asked about having “It” he responded “I find it annoying that people will fixate on a particular trend or piece of clothing because they saw a certain person who everyone thinks is a fashion God, post it on Instagram and get more than 200 likes, fashion shouldn’t be about that!”
In response to that I agree. It should be an unlimited canvas for you, the artist to violently stroke layer onto layers of influences and ideas that make you happy. One concept that sticks out to me the most is from the mother and daughter duo behind the inspirational What’s Underneath Project where they suggest that style is ‘what’s underneath’ your clothes, referring to you as a human.
Fashion is all about selfishness. It is about you and your mind set towards how you feel on a particular day or the mood you’re in. Maybe even your everyday tendency to slide into a pair of Ragged Priest Mom jeans that everyone dislikes – because it gives you a saggy ‘derriere’.
This article does not dismiss the idea of having an idol. Neither is it expressing hatred towards photogenic youths or present the idea that Kim should just stick to making Selfie books. It’s simply a reminder that fashion is all about you as an individual. Our influences and our own ‘It’ girls and boys might define us but they do not have to consume us.