Written by Natasha Lawrence
Finding inspiration has been a struggle of late. As an avid traveller, I miss seeing the colours and traditions of new places. As a social person, I miss seeing the way my friends and family dress for different occasions, and even miss just seeing people walking down the street, on their way to meetings, coffee dates or visits to a local book shop. I miss museums and art galleries. I miss fashion week(!) and the chaos of New York City when the fashion elite descend upon the streets of Soho. A main focus of The Strategy has been to discover what inspires people to dress the way that they do, and as Co-founder, after months of quarantine, I find myself searching for new ways to be inspired.
One way I discovered, or more so, rediscovered, was flipping through stacks of old magazines. As a fashion obsessive, I’ve been collecting magazines from my early teens. The first fashion magazine that ever landed in my hands was a February 2003 issue of Teen Vogue with Gwen Stefani on the cover that my mom bought at the airport. Since then, piles of Vogue Paris and Harper’s Bazaar have been stacked almost to the ceiling of my childhood bedroom, and boxes of Jalouse and Elle fill a storage unit. Sadly, the issue of Teen Vogue is nowhere to be found.
On a lazy Sunday, just after the holidays, I started flipping through the old magazines, deciding if they were ‘worth’ keeping. Shockingly, my mother didn’t want a room of her house dedicated to dust covered magazines. Pulling out each magazine was like pulling out old friends that I had almost forgotten about. The first issue of CR magazine, which the magazine shop owner told me to keep, because it was sure to become a collectors item. The April 2012 issue of Elle UK with Mark Kate Olsen on the cover; my best friend bought the Ashley version (she’s the Ashley, I’m the Mary-Kate in our relationship). An issue of L’Officiel from August 2010 with a photo diary of Vanessa Paradis’ trip to St. Tropez with Chanel. The Charlotte Olympia Carmen suede wedge platforms I thought I would die without. The Erin Wasson Zadig & Voltaire campaigns that dictated my aesthetic in Summer 2011.
Magazine after magazine was pulled out and devoured, and in the end, I was left completely inspired. It re-invigorated my love for fashion and created a hunger for more. Each magazine was definitely ‘worth it’, so much to my mother’s chagrin, none were moved to the recycling bin. They all were placed right back where I found them, should I need to revisit them again.