A moody Sunday look

Silk blouse

I love fashion for many reasons, but one of them is its ability to create a mood instantly.

I recently got this skirt by Stella McCartney at a car boot sale (lucky find, I know!) And it sent my imagination into overdrive. Its velvet panels, tough material, tight fit and fishtail silhouette evoke associations of ladies' riding skirts, Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights, a strict governess/headteacher, Victorian austerity… you name it. I don't know what Mrs McCartney's reference for this collection was, but I would almost bet that some of the above played a part in it. Either way, isn't it fascinating that a simple black garment can conjure up such vivid images in mere seconds? In fact, I got so into it that I just had to go the whole way, styling-wise. Normally, I like contrasts, but this theme was too tempting to not continue it. Hence the rather reserved, buttoned-up silk blouse (check out the beautiful detailing on the back) and the stern platform leather boots. The girl who wears this is maybe not the most approachable – you can kind of hear the whip cracking in the background. But that's exactly what I like about fashion – you can become any person you want to be. Maybe tomorrow, I go for a girly look, and the day after for a tomboyish one – how exciting.

I find that this kind of "character dressing" is actually quite a good strategy when looking for sartorial inspiration. If I have a special event or party to go to and need to put together an outfit, I see what inspires me at the moment and construct my look around that, almost like a mental mood-board. If I want to look grown-up and powerful, I might reference Katharine Hepburn circa 1940 and choose wide-legged, high-rise tailored trousers with boyish brogues. Or maybe I get out my bright pink sequined cocktail dress and go for a studio 54 look by styling it with strappy sandals, bouncy curls and a shimmering clutch. And it's no secret that I am crazy about 90s influences with a gothy attitude, so I might pair a slip dress with seriously dark lipstick, chunky leather boots and fishnet tights.

I think that's the beauty of fashion and make-up: if it's a kind of non-descript day where you just want to blend in, wear jeans and a sweater and feel comfortable, but if you want to be a 30s Hollywood diva or a Japanese-style Harajuku girl, it only takes a few items of clothing and accessories and a slick of lipstick to be her. Let's see who we all show up as tomorrow!

What I wore: skirt by Stella McCartney, blouse by Reiss, boots by Prada, all second-hand.

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