How Fashion can have that emotional power on you

The Piano Guys – Begin Again

There are some days which are unforgettable for you. The day you met your husband/wife, the day you got married, the day you graduated… My kind of unforgettable day, is the day I met you, the day I collide with you, dear Sciences Po. You completely changed my life. You gave me confidence in myself. You made me overcome my fear of failure (the worst I had, in my young years). When I was kind of brave, you made me pass the upper level, and turned me into dauntless. You made me travel in horizons I’ve never considered in the other half of my life where there was no you. Oh yes, you changed my life for good. Sounds like I’m talking about a boyfriend or something like that. But Sciences Po you’ve been so much more than a school for me. If you only knew. I hated you to death sometimes when you made me suffer like Hell, but loved you so much more for what you’ve made me discover in other moments. Where Jacques met his Bernadette, I’m proud to say, thanks to you, I met myself. I enriched my person by crossing the road of other people, broadened my spirit by making the acquaintance of so many cultural differences, and discover facets of me I’d never thought I had.

Days like that always make the exception : even though you have problems of short memory and troubles remembering little things (just like bringing your keys along with you), you’ll always remember these days, from A to Z, 100%, as if it was yesterday. Closing your eyes takes you back to that day instantaneously. Wearing the same outfit as the one you wore on that very special day does too.

Crazy how I remember exactly what I was wearing the day of that Grand Oral when I forget such little and obvious things such as turning off the gas after I cooked, huh? (just so you know I nearly burnt my house on Monday)…

That day, as usual, I broke the rule that our dear Cristina Cordula has established : the famous « no more than 3 colors per outfit » was definitely not my leitmotiv. It was a firework happening on me : purple, turquoise, white, pink… But this firework was nice. And it was definitely appropriate regarding the period : we were in July, on the 8th more precisely, just a few days before our National 14th of July.

I write this article because I had this flashback this morning when I was looking for something to wear. Lost in all my unfold clothes and all my freaking Fashion mess, I rediscovered it again : the very special skirt that made me look so serious on that day while Lord knows I’m not. And just seeing it and touching it reminded me of that entire special day, in every detail : the sunny weather of Paris, the gentle wind blowing on my face, the people I met, the road I’ve taken, the twists and turns which stuffed my way, the emotion I was feeling… This skirt in my hand, I had to reconstitute the whole outfit to honor that memory : so instead of writing on my blog (lol), I felt the urge to find back all the elements which constituted my outfit that day. I spent one hour trying to put the pieces together : from the shirt I had, to the precious shoes I baptized for the first time on that Grand Oral day. All gathered together for my eyes to see, the memory grew stronger in me. I just sat on the floor, staring at it, and remembering exactly everything that occurred on that 11th of July, 2011. As « Père Castor », my clothes were telling me the story I once lived.

During my first year at Sciences Po, I often put it back on myself, don’t know why… I guess I liked it so much I didn’t want to untie myself from it. It had this special meaning to me, this magic power : wearing it reminded me of all the way I had to accomplish to arrive there, and gave me confidence because of the luck I thought it had. It’s MAGIC I’d say. Not only « griffe » of grands couturiers, or story telling made my Fashion brands can give magic to clothes in my sense. Your personal story, your emotions, and your imagination have that power too.

They say Fashion is not an Art (Walter Benjamin among others). But hey, like an Art, it gives people emotions too. Just like a song would surround your whole being with feelings, Fashion does it too, through particular clothes which embody specific emotions to you.

I’d say this outfit is my kind of « Madeleine » de Proust. It’s my way to prove Fashion is so much more than an industry to me. And yes, I’m definitely wrong. But as I said before, I’d rather stay in MY stupidity than to enter in OTHERS’ intelligences.

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“Don’t measure a woman’s worth by her clothes”

Christina Aguilera – Can’t hold us down

When “Terre des Femmes” meets the Miami Ad School

The Swiss Organization for gender equality « Terre des Femmes », associated itself with students of the Miami Ad School, to propose a striking ad campaign named « Don’t measure a woman’s worth by her clothes ».

Credits to Terre des Femmes and Miami Ad School

Credits to Terre des Femmes and Miami Ad School

terre-des-femmes-dont-measure-a-womans-worth-by-her-clothes-print

Credits to Terre des Femmes and Miami Ad School

terre-des-femmes-dont-measure-a-womans-worth-by-her-clothes-great-ads

Credits to Terre des Femmes and Miami Ad School

Powerful pictures, aren’t they? When I saw them, it completely shook me like a banana milkshake. No actually, it was even more than that : it shook me as if somebody was shaking a coconut palm tree (= me) in order to make all its coconuts fall down (the metaphor is stronger here, right?). I think the message is pretty clear. I think we all got it. Don’t measure a woman’s worth by her clothes.

Fashion to appear : when clothes constitute a frivolous label

Fashion is a medium through which society judges people. You know why?

Because Fashion is all about appearance and clothes are a way to appear (I talked about that in this article, remember?). And since people have eye balls, since our nowadays’ society gives massive importance to appearances, people are gonna see you only through this appearance, and have an image of you which derives 100% from this.

The problem is, often, the appearance you display with your clothes doesn’t match your profound nature, even if you really want it to. Let me explain myself. Often, the idea you have of yourself and of the spirit of your outfit can differ from what people finally see on the exterior. In your mind, you have an idea, a specific image at the beginning while you are picking up your clothes, and THIS motives the outfit. But finally, the produced image you reflect to others is altered, it is not the same as the one you imagined. Through your clothes, you wanted to express a specific thing, a particular identity (yours probably), a specific message, but the one received by people is in the end totally different : actually, during its road, like in a « grape-vine », the message sent has been changed by others’ perceptions between the sending and the reception. In brief, when seeing you, your appearance, your outfit, people do mental shortcuts based on what they see of yourself, and they often put a mistaken label on you – mistaken, cause only based on this reflect and their subjectivity.

Unfortunately, everybody does that : you, me, society… This is how it is. Don’t tell me that when you see a guy wearing heavy glasses, having braces, wearing a bow tie and a pull-over, reading books in the train, you don’t think interiorly he is a nerd/head of the class who sucks at sports, because otherwise you’re lying lol. The thing is, maybe this guy just wanted to look like a cool Justin Timberlake when he got dressed like that. We just didn’t got his message.

8e33399b_vbattach51037

Credits to Styleforum.net

How does it apply in this case?

This campaign aims at showing that women are often violently misjudged by society because of the clothes they wear. This judgement is most of the time linked to the notion of sexuality* : with her outfit, either a woman is seen as too prude, or too promiscuous. Sometimes the judgement is so hard that you’ll even hear people blaming a woman who has been raped : they’ll reject the fault on her and affirm that she asked for it just because she wore a skirt which was too short and high heels which were too high. My reaction hearing that?

Credits to Imgarcade.com

The worse is that these types of judgements are more frequent and common than you can think : women who have been raped are not the only victims of such judgements. Almost every day, women have to face condescending labellings of this type.

Note : Through this case, we discover here another function that Fashion can have : the sexualization, and more precisely, the sexualization of women. I’m gonna talk about it more in details in another article. Just be patient guys ahaha. #teasing #comingsoon

Fashion as a pernicious dictator

More than women’s sexualization, these pictures rise other massive problematics faced by the Fashion world nowadays : the problem of measuring, of « ideal » sizes and proportions, of beauty canons imposed to all women. (We’ll discuss that later hopefully, if I finally manage to talk less in one article and keep my words for others lol.)

Fashion is not the only responsible

But Fashion is not the only one to blame here. People are too. Of course, Fashion imposes its criterias, its rules, as discriminating as they can be. But the audience accepts and perpetuates them too. I guess you guys all agree with me on this point, right? Come on guys ! Don’t be in bad faith ! Let’s be honest with ourselves. Nobody put a knife under our throat to force us to wear pink on Wednesdays ! Not even Mean Girls. You can tell me you don’t follow the trends and that therefore, this is your way of contesting. But even if we don’t follow the rules, even if we disagree with them, our passivity perpetuates the phenomenon. I don’t say that we should revolt, build a counterculture where all people are dressed totally at the opposite of the dominating model, and destruct the Fashion system for good ! Don’t misunderstand me, I didn’t say that, HELL NO. How could I encourage you to do such a thing? It would not be reasonable for me. Otherwise, my dream of future professional career would be screwed ahaha ! I just say that we can challenge the system of Fashion sometimes, by bringing our personal touch to generic diffused trends : like Dalaï Lama, let’s do some « peaceful resistance ».

Curtains falling…

We keep on labelling people by the way they appear. Human beings are so much more than just an image displayed : they cannot be defined by only one adjective, one appearance, one outfit. Every human being is multiple deep within : like a kaleidoscope displaying just one color for others’ eyes to see, but hiding secretly so much more on its own.

And OKAY. I have to admit that taking Christina’s video to illustrate my article may definitely not appear in your eyes as a good main asset to serve my words : cause in fact, she is half naked, showing outrageously her belly, dancing provocatively in this music video, and yes, YES, I DO HEAR YOU MY FRIENDS, she definitely looks like a human « Fraise Tagada » or Marshmallow walking down the hot neighborhoods of New York ahaha.

BUT I think the rebellious tone of the song coincides pretty well with the tone of my article. And yes, I am not ashamed to say I like this song, and you can even imagine me shaking my head back and forth as I’m writing this (seriously how can you dislike this? This song has so much flow).

And let’s finish on a positive vibe : let’s not judge her. Just let her be. As long as she doesn’t harm anyone just let her be ! Do we complain when a man walks down the streets without any shirt on, huh? I don’t think so. Do we call him a « gigolo »? I DON’T THINK SO.

Credits to Imgarcade.com

Credits to Imgarcade.com

We rather appreciate the view silently, and the only reason we open our mouth is to dribble 😀 (okay, it depends on the man who’s doing that, but I’d definitely buy it if this man was called Theo James)

So, just appreciate the moment and the very unique view of a human Fraise Tagada, cause you’re not gonna see it in your future for sure ! 😉

!! HOT HOT STUFF !! A new category on the blog ; yes Mam !

Today is a grandiose day. We’re the 23rd of March, 2015, and soon, this day will have to be remembered. The situation is serious. Cause yes, after having talked and chatted massively on Fashion’s Social Function, it’s now time to open a new chapter, a new category in the blog : Ladies and Gentlemen, please give a round of applause for… (drum rolls)  « Fashion Misconceptions » ! What’s the goal this time? Showing all the mistaken pernicious influence Fashion can seem to have on society.

So let’s completely dive in the pool of possibilities offered by this category !

(okay, this sentence doesn’t mean anything but it’s pretty and it reminds me of the sunny weather ahaha)

#3 Fashion’s social function : Imitation and Distinction

Keane – Everybody’s Changing

This article is not going to teach you anything new – like the other ones by the way. It’s just a one of my useless reflections on a social reality hehe.

Everybody knows it interiorly. But we never realize it’s THAT universal, THAT veracious until they expose it to you through a theory or a sociological concept. Somebody shared this knowledge with me one day – or rather, one semester lol – , and now, I am going to share it with you, just because I like you and you’re worth it and because Sharing is Caring *wink wink*.

And I am going to prove you it’s true with, again, my personal experience. (Sorry if I have to blabla so much about myself, it’s just that since I know myself more than I know other people, it’s easier to explain my story, it’s not because I am narcissistic)

So, the agenda of today is … *drum roll* Fashion to imitate or distinguish yourself ! From what? That’s what we are going to see more in details.

Personally speaking : Fashion as my “Colorful Revolution”

It’s gonna be so cliché of me to say that but I don’t care : we never forget where we come from. No matter where we are, no matter where we go.

After spending 4 years in a « foreign » environment, I think I can affirm it out loud. Going from modest suburbs to hyped neighborhoods of Paris in only one day, believe me, I know what I am talking about. No need to say I used to feel uncomfortable at Sciences Po and in Paris 7e, to feel I was not at my proper place for a long time. First of all, it came from me obviously : it was because I was not used to that kind of environment, because it was all new for me. But other external elements made me feel that too, whispering diabolically to me « oh sweetie, you should not be here ».

The very first week of school at Sciences Po, we had what we call an « Integration week » where you have to do oral presentations in diverses places of Paris and debates in class with the comrades of your group. One day, we had one debate about « affirmative action », and of course, as I am SOOOO lucky, I was in the team of people who had to defend « affirmative action ». The problem was, I was definitely too committed, too subjective, too involved in that story in facts as well as emotionally speaking. Because yes, I got into Sciences Po Paris thanks to the CEP process, aka Sciences Po’s kind of hybrid affirmative action – thank you Richie <3. So, of course, when I argued, I took my own personal experience to defend the point of view. But, other major problem here : since I am a freaking emotional spontaneous girl who can not canalize herself and control her emotions, I shed a tear. OKAY OKAY FINE, I shed A COUPLE TEARS – and it was not even « that time of the month ». But I was not the only one being too implicated. Some people were too committed in the topic too. And there was this one guy, who was definitely not in favor of this practice. Fine. Fine. It was his point of view and I respect it. People have different conceptions of life and we have to tolerate the difference. But the thing is, he attacked me personally, whereas everybody shared their point of view without being judgmental or attacking other people personally. At the end of the debate, we had to share feedbacks and do « constructive criticism ». This stupid guy said something like, I can’t remember his precise words, but it was the spirit of his sentence :

« you should’ve played more for the crying part ».

OH. COME ON ! LIKE I FAKED MY TEARS. PFF. When he saw my reaction, as I obviously didn’t take the critic too well, he added : « I mean, if it was a real debate, you should have pushed the acting more, it would have been more convincing ». Since that day, I told myself that if he ever crosses my way again one day, I will look at him in the eyes, not say hello to him, and even worse : I WON’T SMILE AT HIM (Care Bear type of threat lol). Since that day, I also told myself I would never wear moccasins or boat shoes or pants which are short enough so that people can see my ankles because he wore that and I didn’t want to be like him.

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chaussure-bateau-2012


(YES, THESE ARE THE SHOES IN QUESTION.)


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More than only THIS guy, I had the impression Sciences Po wanted to erase my personality, my specificities, my essence, my myself, the profound nature of my being. (ahaha it sounds so ego-centrical when I say this. Like a prestigious school such as Sciences Po had time to deal with a little brat like me lol !) But I had elements which made me think that, I swear. I was not feeling that from nothing. You want a proof? When I was in freshman year, I had this History teacher (who was so nice) who told me one day to change my writing style, because keeping on writing in such a way was not doing myself any favors. His exact words were

« your writing style is… not academic enough. It is too oral, too dynamic. It is not adapted to the university criterias. You should make it more conventional Miss C*** ».

I’m not “mad” at this teacher because I know he said it with goodwill and for my own sake. But a lot of other teachers told me to change my speaking style too. They used to tell me it was unconventional, too familiar, and that I had too many verbal tics that I should erase. And that’s why I was on the defensive. There was too many elements showing me the way I am was not appropriate.

So, all these elements gathered together reinforce that feeling that I was not at my proper place, that I shouldn’t be there, that I didn’t fit in. During my first and second years at Sciences Po, I often had the impression that the institution wanted to erase our differences rather than valorise them. I had the impression that everything was so conformist over there, that if you were slightly different from the norm, you were not welcome. When you think like that, as time goes by, you end up doubting about your place there ; doubting about your legitimacy to study in that school ; being disgusted just thinking of the possibility you can look like them ; being tempted in front of this uniformisation and « big brain factory » to claim even more your differences. And that’s EXACTLY WHAT I DID. I already had an over flashy-eccentric style before the college period, but facing this « foreign and hostile territory », I made it even MORE eccentric. I was cultivating my sartorial difference, doing some soft resistance in front of this ambient conformism where I thought people wanted to confine me. You can say this resistance was kiddish, and that « conformist people » like I thought back then were just growing up and becoming adults. You can say the problem came from me, that I was immature and that I didn’t want to accept the fact that people had to dress like societal norms demands us to. You can say that. But I was so stubborn that at that time, I’d rather stay in my stupidity than enter in others’ stupidities. I still am stubborn and still think like this today : I dress like I want and not like people want me to. But I’m less in that logic of « my style as an armour ». Fashion was and is my « colorful revolution » , my « colorful resistance ». It was a way to differentiate myself from this subcultural group of Sciences Po students and claim my affiliation and belonging to the suburban youth cultural group.

So, based on my personal story, you can see that Fashion is a way to distinguish yourself from certain groups and integrate yourself in others, Fashion is both distinction and imitation. 

Theoretically speaking…

Concepts, authors a.k.a. tools to show off in front of your friends

The author Georg Simmel theorized that. And all my argumentation is essentially based on his theory. Basically, he affirmed that the whole world of Fashion runs with that tension between Imitation and Distinction.

Explanation : The Elite is the trendsetter in the Fashion world. They wear specific styles, and finally, these styles are spread all over society. Why? Because middle classes begin to adopt it to try to look like this Upper class and to be assimilated with them, and progressively, everybody adopts it to look like this Elite. Finally, as soon as middle classes adopt this trend launched by the Elite, people constituting this latter adopt a new one to distinguish themselves from lower classes.

Sociology taught me that too. Can’t remember the authors sorry ahahaha it dates back to my years in high school, that is to say 5 years ago and my poor memory is not that optimal lol. You imitate the style of the subculture you want to integrate, and differentiate yours from the ones of the other subcultural groups you don’t want to be assimilated with. Like Gothic people « against » Hip Hop lovers for example (I know it is too caricatural, but it was the first example that came to my mind)

Putting in perspective

Of course, I don’t put everybody in the same bag, I don’t want to do an amalgam. Thanks Lord every Sciences Po student is different : I met such incredible people over there, who care for others, are nicer than characters in cartoons, who have a heart full of goodwill and a sense of humor non negligible. Contrary to what a lot of people can think about this school, people studying there are not the same : Sciences Po students are not the stereotype of judgmental-arrogant-spoiled-Parisian-Bobo you can imagine. This school is really eclectic. We really have to stop judging a book by its cover. And I am going to begin with me ahaha.

I learned that Fashion should not only work in this logic of « me against the world », it should not only be a « culture shock » and a permanent fight of different styles against each other. Fashion is about sharing differences with others too.

I also learned that conformism and difference are relatives, that one thing you consider « original » is perceived as « common » through other’s eyes.

These are going to be my final words. And yes, it is my last word Jean Pierre.

#2 Fashion’s social function : Seduce, attract, pick-up, and all that jazz

If I experienced it, then you, who ever you are, might have too. It is a universal problem. Everyone, of every age, every area of the globe, has been through this problem for sure. After a couple times where it happened to me – actually, just two or three times ahaha – I started accepting it and convincing myself that it’s a fact we cannot fight. As long as there’s gonna be human beings, there’s gonna be men of this type. You see what I’m talking about? Let’s take a wild guess. If I tell you « glue », you’ll answer…? *1 minute to find THE answer* *3 … 2 … 1 …*

YES ! STICKY MEN.

You know these guys, who can follow you on a scooter while you’re walking, all along a long straight road where there’s no other way for you to go – yes it did happen to me unfortunately ahaha. The ones who, even if you look voluntarily like sh*t, you’re dressed like a coat rack, with no make up and a face of zombie, will find you attractive just because you’re a woman and they’re desperately single. The ones who are sooooooo motivated they won’t let you go even though you tell them you have an imaginary boyfriend. YES. THEM. 

I never considered the tiny possibility of men hitting on me. Come on guys ! Have you seen me? I’m like this little girl seeming to be 16 years old (while in reality, she’s 21 and over the age of majority), with this style that shouldn’t please the eyes of men. How to define it? My style is kind of unattractive. Unsexy. Definitely not HOT. Flashy colored hair, big boots… a girl told me it was smart of me to dress like I do, because it could scare boys by making them believe I have a strong, nervous, and aggressive personality. Obviously, since I am really gullible, as she told me that, I truly started to believe it was possible. So, I thought that, in addition to allow me expressing my personality, adopting a style like mine would also enable me to avoid these kind of sticky guys in bonus. But yes. I was completely kidding myself. At least I tried. So, based on my personal experience, I would say that, in addition to all other social functions Fashion has for me, it also helps me keeping those sticky guys far FAR away from me – with more or less success.

The topic of today is all about Fashion as a tool to seduce or not to seduce, Fashion and Attraction. So, without further delay, let’s begin this !

Argument n°1 : Seduction is all about mystery. Hiding your body with clothes is a way to preserve this mystery.

Without clothes, you can not seduce. Okay, I am definitely not a pro on the topic, but you’ll all agree if I say that seducing is all about mystery. And being naked won’t leave you any mystery left.

I mean, of course, when people do their « stuff » at night, they’re probably totally undressed (I don’t want to imagine it oh Lord). But that’s not the point : usually, when people arrive at this point, they’ve already seduced their target, no need to play on this mystery seduction no more, it’s another type of seduction which intervenes…

My point is, without Fashion, you have less tools to play the mysterious woman or the femme fatale when you need to. I think Clothes are a way to play « Hide and Seek » with your body : one minute it’s covered, the other, whoops (!), it’s more discovered…

Plus, movies and people’s experiences proved that nothing works better in seduction than a plunging open-back, a long muslin dress slit on a woman’s leg, or a tuxedo perfectly cut on a men’s body.

Because in seduction, subtlety is the key : don’t show everything, suggest. Let the imagination of your target work. Let them have their fantasy.

And it’s with fashion that you play this subtlety, it’s with a game on your clothes that you turn somebody’s on.

Argument n°2 : Fashion is a way to prettify yourself. Pretty is useful to seduce.

Fashion, like every other tool for the appearance (cosmetics for example) is a way to embellish yourself. And as our modern human societies give a lot of importance to the physical appearance, it’s also the first way to seduce somebody. Because yes, even though idealists like me don’t like to admit it, we have to face the reality : attraction comes first of all from the outside, the physical appearance of somebody, rather than on the inside.

So, Fashion is useful to embellish yourself : in fact, clothes are a way to « hide » your imperfections and highlight your attractive features. That’s what our Brazilian « chérrrrrrrrrie » Cristina Cordula always puts in evidence in her TV shows. If you’re an A shape, put some jacket with structured shoulders on to balance your morphology ; if you have imposant hips, wear a jean bootcut, not slim etc., and you’ll be cute as a button !

Step n°3 : Time for proofs.

Okay. No more blabla. Let’s bring real facts on the table now.

Proof number 1 : how did Vanessa Paradis seduced Johnny Depp? With her plunging open-back dress. She just turned her back on him, and he succumbed to her charm. #truestory

Proof number 2 : how did Sandy seduced Danny Zuko in Grease? By changing her style. Making it more appealing #fiction

-> Both fictions and true stories confirm this point. Enough said.

No need to drown you in a infinite fountain of proofs. Two are enough to convince. Two are enough to prove it’s not “the exception to the rule“.

Share your funny stories and anecdotes with us in the comments below ! Promise, I won’t laugh. I know a lot about being ridiculous so don’t be ashamed ! You can also share it anonymously if you don’t trust me. *wink wink*

I said « funny » because as long as nothing bad happened to you after that, we have to take it with humor. Let’s see life from the bright side guys. We survived to the end of the world, right?

So from now on, we can survive ANYTHING. WE ARE SURVIVORS. WE ARE INVINCIBLE. ONLY DEATH CAN TAKE US. #euphemism

#1 Fashion’s social function : To Be or to Seem/Pretend to be? That is the question

Is Fashion the expression of our genuine identity or a pure disguise? They often say « don’t judge a book by its cover » because appearances are deceptive. They always tell us not to rely on what our eyes see, but rather on what our heart see (special shout-out to Antoine de Saint Exupéry lol). So, according to those sayings, the physical appearance we display to others through Fashion and clothes – among other mediums – is unreliable. What does that mean? Do we fool others with stardust when we get dressed? Or do we express our truly self when we put our clothes on? Is fashion the expression of our genuine identity or a pure disguise? Well well well. Let’s explore that existential question. I’m sure the answer will improve the quality of our lives. #irony

When my Identity Quest met Fashion

I discovered Fashion when I was in middle school. At that time of our lives, most of us don’t know who they truly are, and so, this is at this exact same time that begins what we know as the « identity quest » of our teenage years. Like everybody, I experienced it. And Oh man, mine might have hurt a lot of faint-hearted people. When you see me now, I am like this girly(ish?)-colorful girl with skirts and tutus and bows and flowers and flashy lipsticks on herself all the time. But hey, let me tell you something : it has not always been like that. Before I arrived at this point of my style, I went through a lot of eccentric phases. And honestly, it was not that pleasant to see, oh no.

  • STEP 1 : The Sporty me

In elementary school, I was miles and miles away from the style I am wearing today. If you crossed my way, you couldn’t tell it was me. I was always wearing joggings, caps, sneakers, long and large T-shirts that my mother and I used to buy in boys’ departments. (A little secret between you and me : Did you watch the TV series Smallville? Remember that red jacket Clark Kent was wearing all the time? Well, I had almost the same. And like him, I used to wear it all the time. Maaaan.) I never let my hair down, it was too feminine and too girly and I didn’t want that side of me to reflect through my appearance. The most obvious reason hiding behind that sporty Melanie C style I had is simply that it was part of me and of my personality. I am adventurous, thoughtless, and moving all the time : seems pretty coherent. Clothes of this style helped me achieving my genuine me, spiritually as well as physically (joggings are so convenient for batteries like me who can’t control their energy and do exaggerated moves) The other implicit reason is that I refused all that had something to do with “Fashionable”. I had such a bad opinion of it : according to me, this world was selfish, egocentric, futile, fake, superficial, and even MEAN. Yes, I said it : MEAN. I associated Fashionistas with « Mean Girls » : in my opinion, Fashion was all about « stuck-up Madams », girls paying too much attention to their appearance instead of being nice with others. So even though I’ve always liked cuteness, colors, skirts, bows and girly stuff, I denied it, I prevented myself from wearing whatever stuff could be close to that because I didn’t want to become like them. I chose one side of me over another one : the independent, boyish side of my personality over my girly-lushy-soppy side – which I didn’t assume and was not proud of. (What’s funny is that, I wanted to be a tough cookie but at the same time I was listening to Lorie’s songs (big LOL)). In a word, I used fashion to be myself and to seem to be not like myself at the same time : displaying proudly my sporty-adventurous side and hiding with shame my girly-sensitive one.

  • STEP 2 : The Lol(it)a me

As time went by, I discovered more and more about myself, and I experimented the different sides of my personality through Fashion. And that’s when Dancing series land in my life. Flashdance revival Spanish style with Un Paso Adelante (Olé !). Gaiters and Buffalo (HEAVY) sneakers all over the place.

  • STEP 3 : The Kawaiiiiii me

And then, Japan, Taïwan, and Korean cultures invaded my space. Bangs, skirts, bows, long and blond (bleached) hair appeared on me.

  • STEP 4 : The 100% final me

Finally, after a few years refusing it, one day, I started to see more positively my « mushy » side. I ended up accepting it. Be comfortable with it. And displaying it instead of hiding it, just like I did with the other aspects of me. As I grew up, I understood that nobody’s personality is simple, classifiable in one case, that the frontiers between styles and universes are not that hermetic, that they are rather porous, and that it’s not because two elements are opposed that they can not coexist together. And that’s when I began dressing myself as I truly was, as I truly am. Since that day, I use Fashion essentially to be. That’s why my style appears so much like a trashcan : it represents all the facets of my personality, from the Kawaii to the sporty one. Such a mess (haha!). Anyway. Fashion helped me find myself, know myself, assume it and express it 100% to people. I’m definitely not the only one in this case.

Strangely, the first medium that we use to find ourselves and to be is Fashion. In that situation, it is definitely commonly admitted that Fashion is a way to express who you are, that it is a way to be rather than to seem to be (or pretend). So, my personal answer to our existential question would be that I don’t fool myself with stardust when I get dressed. I don’t wear clothes to pretend. I am what I’m wearing. By the outfits, I express the inner me, deep inside, under this skin, as plural as it is.

Fashion to seem to be

But of course, some people use Fashion to disguise. For them, clothes are a like a costume. It helps them hide their true nature, achieve a desired image, become a person they want to resemble, or protect their inner selves from the outside, just like a carapace would do. I don’t think it’s a bad thing. I mean, everybody is free to do what it wants. Look at the transformists. With Fashion they pretend to be what they are not, but they try so hard that they almost manage to become what they are not originally and what they want to be. Using Fashion as a tool “to seem to be” something in the eyes of others can also lead you to finally be what you pretended to be. (what the..?! is she high right now?)

Anyway…

… the whole process of getting dressed, picking your clothes and assemble them to build an outfit removes the naturality of the fact of just being. I mean, « to be », you just have to be, to breathe, eat, and complete all these primary necessities, don’t you? « To be » doesn’t require to (over)think it. To be, you just have to be yourself and live your life, right? So, in this sense, Fashion, as its profound nature is to be constructed, thought and pondered, isn’t simply being.

Can you give us a clear answer please Mam?

Okay. There is a big dialectic between being and pretending to be in the Fashion sphere. We can not give a categorical answer : Fashion is a way to be, but it is also a way to seem to be. Actually, all that matters is YOU. How you wanted to use Fashion at the beginning. It is not the result which is important but rather the intention leading to this result, the motivation behind the action. Before you put your clothes on, if you thought of Fashion as a way to appear and seem to be in front of others, then it is what you thought it was.

THE SO EXPECTED CONCLUSION NOT REALLY CONCLUSIVE : The individual gives a sense to Fashion, as much as Fashion influences the individual … 

It could be another debate to discuss in this post. But I think two debates for one day is too much for our poor brains. And all my blabla might have given you a headache. Now that you know, next time, please prepare your drug, the kind that you want – of course, I am kidding – to be able to handle my convoluted thoughts !

So, on these wise words – or gibberish – it’s time for me to let you go !