Starting off as a successful YouTuber, Emma Chamberlain's unique and authentic approach to fashion has led to partnerships with both Calvin Klein and Louis Vuitton. On her podcast episode titled 'Fashion', Chamberlain describes the various phases she went through as she grew up and how her sense of style has transformed into what it is today.
Chamberlain is known for constantly creating trends and for having the ability to make anything look good. Her current fashion philosophy is feeling comfortable in your own skin, no matter what that looks like. She says, ‘There’s art and joy in all of it, even if you’re just wearing jeans and a t-shirt’.
What stood out to me is the pressure that Chamberlain says she felt in her teenage years to conform to a certain style, out of fear of judgement from her peers. The worry of not ‘fitting in’ is something that affects many peoples teen years. For most of us at that age, we just want to feel like we belong. This often means avoiding any kind of negative attention, especially when it comes to the way we look. It’s reassuring to know that someone as successful as Chamberlain has felt the same.
Chamberlain describes how she altered her attitude towards fashion as she graduated early and started to explore it with an increasingly open mind. The concept of breaking away from the pack is something many of us can relate to as we leave school or college and start to form our own identities, on our own terms.
For many of us, the pandemic has been a time to reflect and focus on the things we love. Chamberlain says that in quarantine, she decided to remove all fashion boundaries. To simply wear what she felt like wearing, when she felt like wearing it. She says that fashion doesn’t need to be looked at as simply black and white.
Someone as influential as Chamberlain promoting this outlook takes the pressure off young people who are starting to explore fashion. It rejects societal limitations on style, stressing that something so creative and personal should never be restricted.
The 20-year-old speaks on behalf of many young people growing up in a world of fast fashion and social media, where trends go in and out quicker than ever. Her new philosophy challenges the competitive culture social media has created, and strips fashion back to its roots as an art and form of self-expression. Chamberlain promotes a healthy fashion community of support, removing the toxicity that comes with constantly seeking the approval of others.
Those who start trends are just wearing what they love, and have the confidence to own it. Chamberlain feels there’s nothing wrong with being ‘on trend’, if that’s what makes you feel good. ‘Somebody’s got to start a trend. Why not take a risk and see if it catches on?’, says Chamberlain. If not, you’re still wearing what you love and feeling great doing it.
I think we can all feel like we need to stick to a specific style or aesthetic, which can sometimes limit us in what we wear. Chamberlain highlights this importance of having an open mind in her fashion sense. Look outside the box. You can find inspiration from anywhere and from anyone, as long as you appreciate the world around you. In Chamberlain's own words, ‘There are always going to be people who hate your outfit’. So, as long as you love what you’re wearing, who cares?