Image | Kris Atomic
In my day to day I am asked quite often what my opinion on a certain style, designer, or color is because I’m a “fashion person”. I know I went to school for apparel design and spend an inordinate amount of time cultivating my look and then there’s the whole website…but I always feel the need to tell people that fashion isn’t everything. My opinion isn’t everything and that took a long time for me to learn that myself. I’ll always be honest with people when they ask what I think about their choices or come to me for advice, but at the end of the day what it comes down to the most is if what you’re wearing brings out the side of you that you like or need best.
High fashion is frivolous, fickle, and fleeting; an ephemeral thing meant to affirm social status and provoke feelings of awe. It is ego and full of affectation and pretense. Personally, I’m annoyed by it and what it can do to otherwise rational minded folk. A remarkable art form that has learned how to cannibalize itself the reach of the fashion industry is mindboggling. Many treat it like a religion: pilgrimages twice a year to fashion meccas like Paris, Milan, Tokyo, New York, and London; worship of magazine editors and red carpet darlings; bated breath at the release of the latest handbag; shock and awe when a design house and its creative director part ways. Designers are not gods and clothes horses are not prophets. Fashion blogs and magazines are not bibles. Quite frankly it is all ridiculous. I imagine most people dont’ take it that far but many of us are influenced even if we find ourselves on the periphery of what is considered stylish. People care because appearance does mean something. It certainly affects how we are perceived and can even affect the quality of life. But fashion as a way of life? I’ll pass.
There is a certain genius in the Tom Fords and Rei Kawakubos of the world which I will never deny, but it important not to lose yourself in the pursuit of stylishness. It is just fine to get inspiration and guidance from “those in the know” but at the end of the day remember that your clothes, the way you wear your hair, none of that means anything if you aren’t at ease with who you are as a person. That’s what separates the truly stylish from the rest: dressed up or down they know who they are. There is not a soul in the world who can take that kind of self assurance away. Experimentation with fashion may help you get there but it is not a one way ticket to being the kind of person you want a be. Use it as a tool and have fun with it. Style is nothing if it can’t be fun.