A friend of mine recently told me that we Italian and French people are considered fashion-fascists. And that's probably true. At least, we like to judge a lot. By my side, I like very much the British Isles' and American tastefulness. I really appreciate - I'm not joking - all the pink hearts, blooming gardens, colorful stripes, swallow and bird related, obsessive design.
I like the complete lack of rules in color matching - that nonetheless gives good results. Moreover, I've always loved bows, weaving embroidery and lace, although we use them in a slightly different way.
I even start understanding what knitted coasters and teapot cozies are for. Nonetheless, everything I like, I like it because it remains exotic to me, I guess.
Back to our "fashion-fascism"... As the bon mot which sees us associated with spaghetti and pizza, the myth following which Italians are fashion victims is a Boogeyman you can use against your children when they don't want to dress up: “If you don't wear immediately this checked skirt, Armani will come and bring you away!”.
For instance, in Italy women are generally wrapped in mortifying black-down jackets, more similar to a duvet than to the Penneys/Primark cheap fancy coats I've seen here around and in London. I'm very envious of your basic wearing.
They also wear tennis shoes more often, anonymous boots or ballerinas rather than stiletto heels, that here are a must - and not only for hanging out at night.
In Italy, again, I see a lot of very short haircuts, the ones that the hair stylist sells you as "easy manageable", while the truth is that he doesn't know what he is doing. Here instead, I've rarely seen a girl without a fine hair head.
So, as foreigner, I probably can't see the greater picture.
Is all this talk about fashion our fault?