The grotty side of English Fashion may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but there’s something roughly romantic about it. Fish Tank (2009), a British drama film directed by Andrea Arnold, revolves around the chaotic world of Mia – a fifteen-year old girl who lives on an East London housing estate. Surrounded by abuse and alcoholism, her coping mechanism is to dance aggressively and in a dark deserted flat. It’s a sad story about a vulnerable loner in the midst of “Broken Britain” (if you were confused about the London riots this summer, you’ll find some of the fuel for that fire in this movie) but there’s idealism here. The protagonist is alight with a kind of strength, because she’s yearning for something.
Her style reveals it – it’s caught between rough and sweet. Her style encompasses pieces like hoop earrings, midriff-baring t-shirts, delicate gold chains, masculine hoodies (sweatshirts in America), lashings of mascara, and a scowl.