how do you define your look, if you do at all? is it easily definable? or are things a tad more complicated?
perhaps you are the type to have an answer readily available, on the tip of your tongue. you can spit it out rapid fire! you’re most definitely “romantic,” or “sporty,” or “influenced by early 20th century french cinema,” or “anime-influenced-raver-girl-circa-1991,”…or whatever! that’s awesomely awesome. and a wonderful thing…to be sure of yourself, who you are, and what you love!
for others of us it’s more of a challenge to do the defining-thing. it can be a hard task to observe oneself and make hard and fast declarations. maybe you are the type to be more democratic in your likes and obsessions, seeing beauty and feeling a resonance with a diverse amount of styles. you’re in love with “bohemian” as much as you are with “modern,” for instance. or maybe it’s just a big mystery…you seem to love and want to play with everything! and you know what, being unsure or complicated is totally okay, too! i think for a lot of people, personal style can be a serendipitous, ever-changing, hard to nail down process. it’s often about where you are at a given time, or what you’re into at the moment: in other words, your personal style may morph with you as you move through different roles in your life, as you age, or as you uncover and play with different interests or move into or through different social groups.
as much as i love homespun things that brim with organic and perfectly imperfect, hand-wrought details, i also love sporty things, or modern, sleek, geometric, almost perfect and sculptural silhouettes and pieces. other times i like things that are blatantly glamourous, or super-duper classic and other times, that which is overtly cute or that which is verging on the tacky. sometimes like donning both or several of those categorizations at once. if you’re into metaphors, i suppose you could say that i like my adornments the way i like my music (mostly electronic: breaks, turntablism, and hip hop)…loud, occasionally complicated, occasionally funny, real, and in your face! and essentially, if ya break it down to the brass tacks, i just like to mix and mash it up! but there is a method to my madness. it’s not at all about clashing for clashing’s sake.
i think for me it’s all about the juxtapositions of the pieces and parts, like or unlike (usually unlike!): the interplay of color or texture or proportion, first and foremost. or the mix of two or more objects of adornment worn together that one may not think to put together at first glance. i like the idea of challenging people’s notions of “right and wrong” when it comes to clothing, and i allow myself to be the embodiment of my philosophy and the vessel of my experiment.
where does this come from? what in my past has influenced my style?
(because personal style has it sources, natch!)
well, my father who grew up in southern connecticut, near yale. he always (and still) looks dapper and preppy, wearing well-made, classic ivy-league threads, and he is unafraid of bright hues. my love for mod and occasionally hand-wrought 60s, 70s and 80s silhouettes comes from mom, to some degree (remembering her clothes from then in my mind’s eye), and some from perhaps my maternal grandma and her sister aunt diane, who were the crafty sort, instilling me with a love of the handmade and taste for doing it myself. they inspired and informed my sewing and knitting obsessions and skills. the modernist in me is part of my educational background: i was an art history major, and my favorite movements fell after the mid-1850s, and primarily after the post WWII era: the best of the best modern and post-modernist fare. and the tacky-love? well, that’s just fun and just pure me, born most likely out of a love of thrifting that started when i was fourteen (around 1989). i’ve long been keen on rescuing an old fun piece from the past, even if it verges on that which others may think is weird.
interestingly, i’m not very into themes, fantasy or costume when it comes to dressing, in any overt sense. i don’t subscribe to any one subculture, i don’t try to be a character, and i don’t really channel (or even really follow) any celebs/famous folks. i can’t even really stomach crafting a look with the obvious intention of completely replicating something seen on a runway or in a magazine. some piece of something might inspire me, but an internal force makes me, even compels me, to want to reinterpret it in my own way, to do it differently, to do it my way, i.e., only if it makes sense within what makes sense to me visually and emotionally, and intellectually. or sometimes, i willfully don’t want to be doing what’s being done at all. just because.
i think that, really, i’ve always been a little off, and a lot curious when it comes to clothing. if i think something goes together and others don’t, then i just feel free to take the rules into my own hands, break those rules, and define new ones for myself. i couldn’t give a fig if i’m followed or felt to be a little crazy. i believe in the potential of anything wearable…almost anything can be worn, if worn in an interesting way, by the right person. it’s not what you wear, it’s HOW you wear it.
fashion for me is a playful, intuitive process, a means to an end with no end…i play around, tossing disparate parts together, REMIXING IT, and when it feels right to ME, i’m ready to walk out the door, with no apologies, and no fear.
what about you?
who are you? and why?
feel free to pipe in and define yourself, if you like…even if you feel you are “undefinable” and delightfully complicated!