one of the things i really like best about having a blog/presence on the web is connecting with and interacting with readers. you people GET what i'm trying to say here, even if i don't always know myself! people send me cool links that they think i might like, on a myriad of subjects: knitting, sewing, designing, books, fashion, art...if it relates to something i talk about in the blog, people have emailed me about it. i get comments and emails all the time, and LOVE them all (they are 99.9999% positive), and lament the fact that i can't address and respond to them all in a timely manner, due to the pressures and demands of everyday life. so please understand and forgive me if i neglected to get back you or took forever to do so! but do know i appreciate the fact that you read or relate, enjoy, and are inspired. you in turn inspire me. keep those emails and comments coming...and be patient with me! :)
on that note...
feel more than free to explore the article in it's entirety at the aforementioned link, but i wanted to share with you some interesting quotes (and my thoughts about them) that pertain to one of my perennially favorite topics, the importance of dressing oneself...as it pertains to image, self-expression, and interaction within the culture at large.
stephen bayley says:
"Self-invented people are the most interesting ones of all."
any other type of person would, in my opinion, appear hollow, upon immediate observation, or would likely reveal themselves to be so after some interaction. in the matters of fashion, i believe the most interesting people are those simultaneously heed and trust the call of their own inner voice and fount of creativity, other people's opinions be damned, while at the same time, keeping themselves abreast of what is happening culturally, whether they choose to participate in those movements or trends themselves. a self-invented person trusts themselves first, believes in their own vision, and in turn, is able to sell it.
stephen bayley says:
"Psychologists know that first impressions are based on our spontaneous assessment of status, clothes, sex, age, size and posture, speech and facial expression. Let's just deal with the clothes. Lord Chesterfield advised his son: 'Dress is a very foolish thing; and yet it is a very foolish thing for a man not to be well-dressed.' And Jay McInerney says of life today in meritocratic Manhattan: 'You won't be judged by your accent... but you will be judged by your shoes.'"
i constantly see references to fashion as something frivolous, something unimportant in the scheme of things. but i am personally not convinced (and neither is mr. bayley, apparently). it is at once something important, and not important. yes, food, health, shelter, peace and happiness are far more important subjects, but i stand by the notion that fashion is not a wholly hollow thing. i believe that the way we adorn ourselves is an art that is rife with meaning, with signals, signs, statements and clues. it is a language of expression that, with the juxtaposition of different elements, tells a rich story about our current situation (both in an immediate and broader sense), who were are, where we come from, what we like, and what we believe in.
"This is nothing to do with Church's or with Prada but with attitude and style - style being the dress of thought, the feather that makes the arrow fly straight, not the feather you put in your cap. It matters because somebody who does not care about their appearance will care about little else. But we are locked in a game of continuous evaluation from which there is no escape to a value-free neutrality. Even the decision not to wear clothes betrays a set of prejudices. The person who says: 'I don't care what I wear, I just put on a T-shirt and jeans' is merely confirming how much he cares about creating a certain sort of wearily insouciant impression."
"In matters of dress, you can be sympathetic to your audience, subvert it or confront it, but you should not ignore it."
appearance is everything. the people i admire most (stylish people as well as other significant, intelligent, creative individuals, of course) are those who care about the form, expression and impression they are making on and in the world, WHATEVER that may be, in all aspects of their person, clothing and action alike. people who claim they are "too lazy" about making an effort about the way they dress or act are, let's face it, probably lazy about other things in life. and i think that's a shame. laziness is an excuse, and i don't buy it.
"In all of this self-invention, confidence plays a part. The great thing about confidence is that it is self-perpetuating."
YES! confidence is key to matters of expressing an authentic personal style statement...OWN YOUR DECISIONS when you take personal risks. if you want to wear a pink sweater with orange plaid pants, and love it unabashedly, then resolve to hold your head high and BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. other people's opinions be damned. seriously! if you believe in something, and sell it with confidence, sass and style, other people will react to said confidence in a positive manner, and you might even find that people will eventually join you in support of your ideas and expressions. confidence is the seed from which TRENDSETTING ideas spring.
feel free to comment add your own thoughts (negative, positive, or otherwise) to my borderline non-sensical ones. i adore a good discussion (it's the not so latent academic inside of me!)!
thanks kendra for passing the article on to me, and thanks to stephen bayley, for giving me food for thought/further words to spurn on more articulation of my personal fashion philosophy.