Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Dress Up Doesn't Have to End

Tommy Ton (of Jak & Jil) wrote a post a couple of weeks ago about how fashion shows no longer have the same innovation and theatricality as they used to. Of course, I wasn't following fashion when he was a teenager "obsessing about fashion" but the designers that come to mind are the exact same ones that he has listed from my teenage years obsessing about fashion: John Galliano and Alexander McQueen. These are two designers that definitely inspire me to push myself to find new ways to wear clothes and express myself.

While he mentioned these two designers in the post, I wouldn't have listed them here if I didn't believe that they still have elements of theatricality and innovation to their shows, but I do agree with Ton that more designers could use these elements. Designers who really put on a show create an atmosphere for their clothes. These shows are exponentially more inspiring than others that don't include dramatic make-up, hair, and proportions. And maybe I'm just drawn to scale and a complete look that pushes the limits of normality because to me, a t-shirt and jeans should never just be a t-shirt and jeans.

A few weeks ago I went to walk my dog at the beach in just that: a black t-shirt, jeans, dirty white keds, and a orange zip-up. I said to my sister, "I look so... normal." While she took this as a stab at the way she dresses, the fact was, I didn't feel like myself. Although it works for a lot of people, practicality or normalcy is not a way I would describe the way I dress. I'm not, in any way, claiming to be a totally unique dresser, but I do strive for innovation with whatever I put on my body. Whenever there's a themed party (and even if theres not), my friends and I will take our time to scour our closets for a way we can put something together that won't be the standard night look. And during the day I tend to put together an outfit for a certain character, decade, or aesthetic. In short, I'm inspired by an idea and I work to portray that idea as wholly as possible in what I wear, how I do my makeup, and how I style my hair. This is similar to what happens in those fashion shows that are most inspiring: they instill a certain vision on the viewer that is so complete it becomes real (I hope this makes sense--I feel like I'm lacking a better explanation for what I feel about these shows). I wish there was more of this in fashion shows, but also in real life. I know not everyone is inspired by clothing but it's such an important part of my day-to-day life that I can't imagine someone not wanting to have fun with clothes, hair, and makeup. It's like dress-up but all day long! And it has the potential to change your mood, how you perceive yourself, and how others perceive you.

The best example I could find of having fun with how I present myself. From Diva Night, makeup by my friend, Nick.

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