Tarryn Oppel on the changing face of fashion

Fashion industry veteran Tarryn Oppel reflects on the impact of Zeitgeist on the way we dress and the new attitudes to fashion. As a freelance creative director, content creator and fashion stylist, working with local and international brands and retailers Tarryn is known for her unique style. Stellenbosch Visio caught up with her to discuss her take on the new direction of fashion.

Has COVID-19 changed the way you dress?

I’m happiest in oversized silhouettes that allow me the freedom to move and just be. If the silhouette isn’t roomy, it’s one with my skin. I shop in the men’s department and banish ‘rules’ of proportion. I pair overalls with red lipstick. I don’t need prints to be seen; sometimes the only pop of bold colour can be found on my nails. And when I’m not in the mood for heels, I walk tall in chunky sneakers or platform boots instead. My way of dressing has in fact served me well during this time. If anything, it’s increased my appreciation for pieces that don’t restrict me. I do, however, have a new-found love for sweatpants and I’ve made a valiant effort to focus more attention on my health and well-being. 

What are you wearing today and what made you choose this particular outfit?

I am wearing an off-white second-skin turtleneck knit, pumpkin spice cropped cocoon jeans, monochrome platform Dr Martens boots, gold costume jewellery and a pop of red on my nails. It embodies my less-is-enough and unrestricted style in one look and highlights the power of subtlety, proving that tones speak as loud as prints and, most importantly, what you see is what you get … simply me.

What would you like to share about the future of fashion, the way we dress and consumption at large?

I have learnt so much over the years about taking a step back, avoiding an overcrowded closet and being aware of waste and sustainability, and I continue to make an effort to expand my knowledge. In saying that, I don’t have rails of timeless pieces of the highest quality, with hefty price tags, nor do I have a knack for thrift shopping. In fact, I’m where I’ve always been, which is somewhere in the middle; where the mass market lives and where trends reign supreme. However, I now find joy in side-stepping pieces I used to rely on and I carefully select items which I am absolutely confident will stand the test of time and trends, that make me feel good and are, and always will be, a reflection of who I am. I believe this year has given us a greater sense of self and enabled us to fully understand the difference between a need and a want, to rethink our life patterns and habits, to slow down and be present in the now. Life in lockdown in particular has forced us to remember the importance of sustainability, has opened our eyes to what’s really important and to remember to foster our minds. This has a direct effect on how we view our current style and lifestyle and our intentions for our future, fashion included.