Growing up, I was never a casual kind of girl. As early as age 9, I preferred to wear garish, ill fitting ‘80s prom dresses over jeans – usually to disastrous results. I did envy the more put-together girls who had armoires full of perfectly ironed, timeless pieces; they looked effortless in their black or white silk staple skirts and trousers dressed up with a statement bag or Chanel jacket. But at heart, I was a magpie, always rooting through bargain bins at charity shops for, say, a sequined cape, which for some reason I just had to own.
In addition to those loud prom dresses, my wardrobe also teemed with oversize ‘70s dresses made from unsavory materials and ‘60s bell-sleeved frocks with patterns resembling your Gran’s wallpaper. There was never a point when I wasn’t experimenting with clothes, hence the photos of me as a two year old in neon green shorts and a pink feather boa. (My mother was complicit in that act; she loved dressing up my sisters and me in a variety of ridiculous get-ups). I honestly think there have been times when my sanity may have abandoned me completely. Allow me to take you on a brief tour of my fashion disasters…
By 2002, I was a carefree twelve-year-old. Was there ever a point when knee high Nike logo socks complemented pink and white checkered shorts and a pink Lacoste polo? I may have been quite satisfied with myself, yet in a family photograph taken at the time, I’m skinny and awkward: My hair is parted down the middle, ‘90s boy band style; my newly adolescent face is oily and sallow; and my stick legs are bowing out at bizarre angles, sort of like Bambi’s when he first learned to walk.
Two years later, I was making my ascent up the hellish mountain that is teenage-dom. I was a total brat, and my clothing reflected this, especially since I had just settled into an all-girls school that didn’t have uniforms. In my experience, the alpha girls at school were cruel in their enforcement of the social pecking order – and if you weren’t pretty or charismatic, you were deemed a serf, a lowly outcast confined to the dark recesses of the lunchroom. I landed somewhere in the middle of this hierarchy. With no designs on popularity – and no threat to being bullied – I explored my sartorial whims on Kings Road, where designer Vivienne Westwood ran her seminal fetish/ punk rock store, Sex, in the ’70. Since then, the street, located near my house, has morphed into something far less subversive. My brief time prowling that area had a detrimental effect on my style: Gone were the checkered shorts and Nike accessories, and in their place arrived bright Juicy Couture velour tracksuits, stonewashed denim micro miniskirts, and tiny logo emblazoned Dior purses. I was also slapping on so much fake tanner that I looked like a tangerine.
Thankfully, I moved on to experimenting with a ‘50s look – all candy colored prom dresses and frilled, white ankle socks. When I was around 16, I was alternating between mod and hippie, a schizophrenic approach to dressing that ended up yielding fairly fashion forward looks and required the ransacking of vintage stores for the perfect fringed waistcoat or woven headband. But in 2007, at age 17, my friend’s band The Klaxons suddenly garnered ridiculous amounts of success; it was the birth of Nu Rave, and unfortunately, it ushered in another era of bad fashion. My best friend Fifi Brown and I woke up one morning in Ibiza clad in identical baby blue spandex bodysuits and smiley face necklaces, and I realized we’d taken this joke way too far.
Then last year, I started listening to Post Punk. I also began playing bass in a now defunct band called TTA with my two best friends, and our style began to radically reflect the music we made. Just not in a good way: I was uber goth. I wanted to be Morticia Addams mixed with Siouxsie, but since I’m so pale, I just looked like a vampire. I dyed my hair black and threw out anything that wasn’t black, white, or gray. It got to the point where I woke up in my black room, with black lipstick smeared all over my face, unable to see out of my windows due to the black curtains blocking out the sunlight.
Now, I have ditched the everyday-is-Halloween vibe and focused on timeless colors – taking key looks from whichever era interests me and working them around my own style and shape. Sure, I may look like a total idiot at times, and to the delight of many, some of these moments have been immortalized on film. But fashion should be funny and silly, joyful and irreverent. So when I look at those priceless photographs, I too can’t help but smile.
MORE PEACHES, YOU SAY?!NYLON TV gets dressed with Peaches for NY Fashion Week
,Peaches' essential Valentine's Day movie list
,A very Peaches Christmas
,Her list of must-have music and fashion for the new year
,The capsule collection she designed for PPQ
,And the column that started it all - her debut piece for NYLON Magazine