Had you told the 14 year old me that one day I would be attempting to make it in the crazy and competetive world of fashion I would probably have thought that you were either a) attempting to dent my already low self esteem, the result of a frizzy mess of hair, big eyebrows and general nerdiness, or b) clapped my hands with glee and gone out and bought a yellow vest and matching cropped trousers because thats what I thought was cool.
To my geeky teen self's credit, I did sometimes manage to find reasonably nice tops in Miss Selfridge (my absolute favoruite shop at the time) and team them with jeans because lets face it thats what all teenagers wore in Bromley if they weren't in Addidas tracksuits (they pretty much all were). So jeans and T-shirts and the occasional short skirt (from Morgan, still treasure it) were my weekend uniform, along with all of my friends.
Yesterday I read in the Sunday times Style magazine that teenagers in Britain are now the most clothes-obsessed youngsters in the world. Apparently with some spending up to £1000 at a time in Topshop. Its worth noting that these are the children of the rich mummy and daddy demographic of said publication and so perhaps are not an accurate representation of what is really going on.
That said however, teenagers have much more style, and much more choice than I did when I was that age. Topshop is the king of choice, and the place to spend all your allowance to your hearts content, along with all the legions of highstreet stores trying to capture some of this fashion zeigeist. The whole media is much more in tune to teenagers needs and the inter-twining of fashion and music means that kids are much cooler from earlier on, simply by emulating the 'cool' London sceners we're all reading about constantly. The fact that so many young stars are wearing and collaborating with the highstreet, which in turn accurately steals trends from the catwalks, means that fashion is more accessable and affordable that it ever has been before.
I often see teens on Oxford street and wish that I'd even had a slither of the choice that they have now. It makes me feel old and ever so slightly jealous that when they look back, they might cringe at the hair or the makeup but the clothes, captured in photographs and posted on facebook, will always look amazing long after those trends have faded.