Bespoke Opinion: Inception

by Barbara Csankova

Can anybody really nail down the point of inception of some of her most deeply ingrained likes, habits, and tendencies?  Well, perhaps the ones that evolve – acquired tastes, for instance – but I’m convinced that some things are just in our nature.  I can’t really tell you when I first started caring about how I dressed. What I can tell you is that both of my parents were artists of a sort for many years, practical bohemians (an oxymoron, I know).  Living behind the iron curtain, my mother sewed all my clothing for me – and I hated it because I had to wear dresses. Wanting to fit in with my male cousins, I was very much a tomboy, in very well-made clothes.

Veering towards men’s fashion and sporting an androgynous look, then, is not much of a departure.  I love utilitarian and military clothing (a holdover from the aforementioned iron curtain, perhaps), practical yet smart (in the British sense), and above all, well tailored and made.  Yet, so much of what I covet depends on books and films that have spoken to me over the years. The pair of boots purchased because they reminded me simultaneously of Blade Runner and The Fifth Element; the Andrew Marc cashmere coat that makes me think of film noir and was directly influenced by Francois Truffaut’s Fahrenheit 451; the leather boots that remind me of Maynard James Keenan; the All Saints shirt bought in London for my birthday, because it was so romantic.

I can tell you where and why I bought each piece of clothing I own and what the influence behind the purchase was. I can tell you when someone is cribbing Nicolas Ghesquiere’s Balenciaga Spring 2006 RTW collection (the most-referenced collection, in my opinion). I know I’m not alone; there are many of us who log into on a daily basis, have the app on our phones, have the fashion blogs in our Google reader feed. We care, because style – not just fashion – is art.

This space will be for the discussion of said art. What a discussion it will be. Please allow me to introduce myself, I’m a dame of wealth and taste…

Well, maybe more so the taste.

Photo by mandiberg. Used under a Creative Commons license.

Barbara Csankova boasts a nimble imagination and a definite fixation with dissonant music and her hair. She’s a full-time student in the English Department at the University of Toronto. She hates bad spelling, but loves improper syntax. You can catch her tweeting incessantly (@RellaC) or email her at

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