15 Mar

In this age, the mere example of non-conformity, the mere refusal to bend the knee to custom, is itself a service. Precisely because the tyranny of opinion is such as to make eccentricity a reproach, it is desirable, in order to break through that tyranny, that people should be eccentric. Eccentricity has always abounded when and where strength of character has abounded; and the amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigor, and moral courage which it contained. That so few now dare to be eccentric, marks the chief danger of the time.

John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, Ch. III (1859).

That Mill was English will hardly come as a surprise to anyone. Yet, he’s perfectly right. Intolerance to eccentricity is both a sign of weakness of the people’s spirits, and of tyranny in the institutions. Examples come to mind. Anyway, let us celebrate one of fashion’s true eccentrics.

Comme des Garçons. And dots.

Vintage silk scarves ruched with black ruffles. I love the material, it’s got a tremendous vibrato, and a distinctive lingerie touch which is sexy per se. Of course, Rei Kawakubo knows that a good pair of heels will redeem any kind of sartorial eccentricity, so she won’t let that happen. She won’t let you get away from the difficult with some easy heel glam.

I would, though. I’m not yet a full blown Man Repeller. (Actually, Leandra Medine is not either: look here how she shys away at the end from full MR, changing from her sleepers to her terribly sexy pair of Proenza Schouler (waaaant)).

I would pair the dots outfit with these pumps from Dries Van Noten. The severity of the strong geometric pattern gives dignity to the otherwise frivolous sequins, on perfect par with the ruffles.

Equilateral triangles paving the plane

What would be your eccentricity’s upper limit?

2 Responses to “Eccentricity”

  1. Madame Suggia at 7:49 pm #

    Oh no. Now I’ve seen those Dries beauties, the want- monster within has awakened with an avaricious howl. Help me clean out my already sadly depleted bank account Ms. Wharton, whydontcha.

    • Miss Eliza Wharton at 11:44 am #


      I’m afraid I’m being unfair with all those beauties… They’re so out of my financial league I can toy with the images all I want, it’s risk free for me.
      Otherwise I cannot help you. Like Wilde, the only way I know to resist temptation is to succumb to it.

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