Lighting old sparks

Sometimes you become detached from ideas, passions and interests with which you were once enthralled, obsessed and consumed by. It could be that you find new ideas that are much more accurate and expansive, and they rightly foist out your ill-guided assumptions and notions. Or it could be that your interests shift — what was once mesmerizing, dulls with time. Or it could be that other things demand your attention, and you quietly let previous passions fall by the wayside. But no matter how they fall out of favor, there is a distinct pleasure that comes from the re-discovery of those said interests. That feeling sparked alight by time, chance and the permission to indulge yourself. That’s what happened to me over this past week. I was home in bed with an injured knee. I was out of service and no longer allowed to be out and about in the world, a daily necessity akin to air for me. I was forced into compliance with my body’s larger needs. And that compliance, and immobility, while at times constrictive, was actually brimming with freedom. I was suddenly handed the luxury of time to get lost in Internet rabbit holes, a freedom to do away with the worry that I should be out, that I should be doing and interacting, otherwise I don’t exist. Otherwise, what kind of life am I living? Stupid ideas that sometimes lodge themselves in the lower rungs of our consciousness. With an ease on the reins, I encountered, and then wholly put my arms around, an old friend of mine, one that hadn’t ever gone away, but one that had been relegated to the peripheries of my attention. I finally was able to get in touch again with the glamour, beauty, artistry and intellectual subtleties of fashion. Fashion. The word, to me, doesn’t do it justice. It’s a word that has grown loose and tired like old elastic from years of slander and association with the more superficial things in life. As Daryl Kerrigan put it in an interview with the podcast Oh Boy,

“Yeah I suppose it’s fashion, sometimes it feels hard to put the word fashion on something when you feel like it’s so much related to your core and your own very personal style that’s expressing something that you feel, and I suppose, the word for that is fashion, but often, for me, it’s style.”

Yes, because fashion is so much more than that small corner of the world we rope it into. It’s not a frivolous pursuit with which only smaller minds busy themselves. It’s not a privilege only awarded to the rich. It’s not only a function of capitalist societies. No, as swaths of populations duly recognize, it is a vital way of seeing and interacting with the world. An insistent form of expression and a breath of understanding. And it’s also, no doubt, a problematic industry rife with as many questions and failings as it is with joyous heights and advancements. Fashion is a microcosm of society that speaks to deep, personal psychologies as well as it does to wide social behaviors and trends. Simply put, it’s a wonderful field to root your interests in. So why did I drift away? I studied fashion, and, as happens with many, it’s a field that slowly began to release itself out to sea as I became disillusioned with the industry and the trappings that came along with it. I tired from the endless consumerism it engendered, the vapid personalities it can often attract and just a general sense of emptiness that comes with overexposure to one thing all the time, without a deeper foothold into the world that can keep it feeling new.

But coming off the heels of my deep dive into New York Fashion Week, fashion blogs, interviews with interested designers and pointed podcasts, I can say I’m reinvigorated by style and the way that it helps shape, mold and define us all. After all, it’s something I never stopped noticing. People watching or more aptly “style watching” will forever be my favorite way to spend an afternoon in any city around the world. But having rekindled my fascination, I feel more grounded by the things that inspire my mind to bud and break off in new directions. By a thing that stimulates all arenas of my life and psyche and gets me excited about getting dressed in the morning —  to show myself, and my ideas, to the world. A thing that lets ourselves open to the possibility of inspiring a stranger, the humans around us, with the idea that we all deserve an outlet and a stage to exhibit our individuality. And that that individuality can be the very thing that connects us to each other.

~

To follow-up my born-again fascination, I thought I would share some of my favorite quotes I collected this week, from various designers and players within the fashion realm. Maybe you will also gain a little lift and glimmer of inspiration from their insight.

*Also, I’d like to credit Man Repeller and their The Chatroom series for sparking a lot of this renewed sense of interest. It’s where many of the quotes below come from.


“When you see people that are self-confident, they radiate something good.” -Isabel Marant

swansongs

(^I should also credit this very fashionable and inspired young lady for reconnecting me to what was forgotten. :) )

“When you get too many opinions, it boils down to nothing.” -Linda Rodin

“This is a way to keep the magic in everything you do — ground it in imagination.” -Richard Christiansen

walkingin_4

“Self-awareness is the key to great style.” -Stacy London

“Enhance your life in any way you can. Don’t limit yourself in life.” -Charlotte Tilbury

beddriven_7

“In order to defend myself, I had to express myself.” -Diane von Furstenburg

“Frivolity is necessary in anything.” -Carolina Herrera

 

*Photo of me in the first collage is by Emma Kate Low.

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