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Yves Saint Laurent hit the nail on the head on when he said, ‘Fashion fades, but style is eternal’.Style, not fashion, is the theme of the 2013 DCU Style Society fashion show. The show is all about pushing the boundaries of style but before anything else we have to determine what style actually is? Style is about self-expression, portraying your identity through what you wear and this year the show will be focusing on the more daring sense of style.

The fashion elite have always believed that style is about setting trends, not following them. Style Icons such as Victoria Beckham, Lady Gaga and Jessie J all have one thing in common, a signature look. To truly be ‘stylish’ you must find a look that works for you and stick to it. Iconic women such as Marilyn Monroe, Brigitte Bardot and Audrey Hepburn all had a distinct timeless look still imitated decades on.

Style is personal. Friends, family, celebrities, trends and personal budget, to name but a few, can influence style. Personally, I have always gotten my inspiration from friends and family. They are my style icons. Realistically I’m more likely to get a loan of a top from my favourite cousin than one of the Olsen twins. In order to really see what people think of Style, I have interviewed some of the people whose style I feel have really shaped mine.  Every interviewee had a very different style and opposing views on what they considered stylish.

Robin Ryan, a trainee teacher in Cork City University said, “Style isn’t everything to me but I do think it makes a person who they are, I think it makes people Individuals, you can tell who someone is and what their personality is like by their style.” Fashion defines us, as more often than not the world we find ourselves in can be full of prejudice and opinions. Our clothes can be the first things that people see, and the first impression we leave behind. It may be considered shallow but our personal style says a lot more about us than meets the eye. It can shape everything from our groups of friends to the jobs we get, it really is that important.

Having your own style can give you the confidence to go out and achieve what you want from life, it can mean the difference between being an outgoing bubbly character or more shy and retiring. Niamh Doherty, a Journalism student in Dublin City University says, “Style is really important to me. It’s a great way of expressing yourself and your own individuality. Wearing clothes that I like makes me feel more comfortable and happier in myself.” Style does this in a way fashion can’t. Fashion trends can be hard to pull off and expensive to keep up with, they can often leave you feeling worse about yourself than you did in the first place.

The top three style icons of 2011 were the classic Michelle Obama, duchess Kate Middleton and superstar Lady Gaga. These women do not follow the fashion trends of the time but instead they create their own trends and personal styles, making them true fashion inspirations. Obama and Middleton dress timelessly and classically, while Gaga dresses so extravagantly that you cannot help but be in awe of her style. These women are undoubtedly the essence of style.

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Body confidence is an essential element to having a good sense of style; you have to feel confident in yourself before you can be confident in any piece of clothing. Marilyn Monroe once said, “To all the girls that think you’re fat because you’re not a size zero, you’re the beautiful one, its society who’s ugly.” This is true of almost everything in life; we are all individuals with different tastes and preferences. No one opinion is better or worse than the other. Everyone is beautiful.

Style is more than just what you wear. It is more than a trend or a piece of clothing. Style is an attitude. It is part of your personality and how you interact with people. Style is how you perceive yourself as well as how you are perceived. It’s how you think, speak and act. Style is everything.

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By Claudia Gocoul