Unlocking the Mysteries of Fashion.

Sept | Oct ISSUE

Marianne Ilunga

If fashion is constantly evolving, how do we keep up with it? You set the trends. Anyone has the ability to influence fashion, as more designers continue to use the ordinary person as their muse. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been wearing black your whole life, you can simply “take a chance and try something new and see how you feel,” says fashion expert Marianne Ilunga. It’s one of the many secrets she shares with us on how to remain confident and comfortable in your wardrobe.

Don’t spend all your money on a head-to-toe look.

Stock up on the solid basics first, to simplify your shopping budget every season. Consider spending extra on jewelry, shoes and designer handbags because your foot size will never change and vintage accessories will appreciate in value. For women, she recommends the following: 

A white blouse, black dress, a blazer, pencil skirt, designer handbag, black pumps, a pair of nude heels, a simple pair of blue jeans, one great sweater (cashmere or wool), black sandals (ankle strap or not), and two t-shirts (one black and one white).

As for men, they should invest in one custom-made black suit, a nice pair of shoes, and an elegant watch. “If you have your staples, all you have to do every season is spend a little bit of money on something that is trending,” shares Marianne.

Keep up with the trends.

With fall in the air, make room for some of this season’s supreme statement pieces. Use plaid patterns to complete your polished look and animal prints to empower your bold presence. The color of the season is mustard yellow and it will add a spicy twist to any garment. “Take your outfit to the next level with transitional pieces that can go from day to night,” advises Marianne. Sequins and metallics are no longer reserved for New Year’s Eve, wear a shiny midi skirt by day to sparkle with confidence and dazzle at night with a pair of pumps.

Buy the next size up and have it altered.

If you’re searching for the perfect fit to flatter your body, you won’t find it in a store. Every factory uses their own ‘model’ sizes, which doesn’t account for variations in body type, height or weight. This explains why a size 6 looks completely different from one place to the next. “Victoria Beckham is forever wearing the next size up, that’s why she looks the way she does,” shares Marianne. “Pick up anything off a rack, have it altered and you will look like a million bucks.”

Draw inspiration like a designer.

Observe what ordinary people wear in different settings and study their style, that’s where you’ll find the real muses. “When I was growing up, fashion had more of a trickle down theory, meaning everyone waited for the designer to start the trend and tell us what to wear. But now, designers are looking at regular people in society to guide them, whether they’re in urban areas or at the grocery store,” says Marianne. It’s the best practice for designers to remain relevant and make sure their runway collections turn into outfits. Traveling serves many purposes, but Marianne will tell you it’s the best way to find out what everyone is wearing around the world.

What you choose to wear is self-expression in its purest form—representing your personality, defining your style, and showcasing your creativity. It doesn’t matter what you’re wearing, as long as the garment is making you feel beautiful and confident. Next time you’re roaming the city streets, remember you have the power to set the next trend.