We all have them. Sometimes as artists and/or geeks, we either have more of them than normal, or fewer, depending on how "out there" a geek/artist you are. If you're both, well... you're just screwed. Like me and my Dragon, for instance. Sometimes it's something we hope and pray that our fellow geek/artist friends, acquaintances, and/or family never find out about us. Say, a secret obsession or passion that would quite possibly destroy one's "geek cred" or forever alter others' perceptions...
My dirty little secret?
I love fashion.
There, I said it. I love seeing the latest stuff coming down the runways. I love seeing the gorgeous (and not so gorgeous) styles on the red carpet. I love seeing the new designs for wedding styles. I adore what some people can do with a piece of fabric and a handful of beads or a buckle or two or... well, you get the idea. I love clothes and shoes and accessories... however, I like to think I'm a little more picky about the things I obsess over than a lot of "fashionistas" as the vernacular goes. It's been hard over the years to downplay it, especially when the season's fashion turns to something I actually like...
Let me clarify. I am not the "OMG I MUST HAVE THE LATEST IN SPRING FASHION EVEN THOUGH THE COLORS CLASH HORRIBLY AND THE STYLE NEVER LOOKS FLATTERING NO MATTER WHAT MY BODY TYPE!!!!" kind of fashionista. I know what I like; it's a very specific set of styles. I know what looks good on me, which is not always the things I like. I can appreciate a good design without it being something I would ever wear. And I know the difference between something actually wearable, and the purely artistic pieces coming out on the runways so very often. I know that there are some things that should never see the light of day, and I know there are some things I will never be able to wear no matter how much I like them. I enjoy shoes, but my taste in shoes is governed by the same sort of likes and dislikes as my taste in clothes.
So this is my "coming out" as it were. This is the one dirty little artistic secret I have hidden all these years. I didn't feel that a fashion designer could, or should, be taken seriously as an artist. I hated listening to all the girls in my school blather on about clothes and shoes and hair and blah blah blah. I was very cerebral when I was younger. I wore t-shirts and whatever jeans my parents bought for me, and never thought twice about it. Pretty clothes were for people on tv, or people who didn't have anything better to do with their time. And then I started to discover that I could be one of those pretty girls with just a few small adjustments to my wardrobe, and I discovered that there were a lot of things that were pretty and also comfortable, AND looked pretty good on me... and then I figured out I could make my own jewelry...
And the rest is history.
To me, for a long time, the fashion world was shallow, pointless, and often harmful to women who couldn't live up to its images of beauty. I still think the world and industry can be like that. But I can also appreciate the artistry and work that goes into the creation of new styles and discovery of new materials and new ways to use the old materials. Some of the major designers today are absolute geniuses... and some of them I wouldn't touch with a thirty-nine and a half foot pole. I don't want to be counted with these women who obsess over the season's new shoes, or the latest in ridiculously expensive jackets that will never look good on anyone. To me, fashion shouldn't be about status symbols. Clothing should always reflect the person who wears it, man or woman. You can tell a lot about a person by what he or she wears. You know when someone doesn't care about their clothes. You can tell when someone's got an instinct for It should enhance the wearer's natural attributes and downplay whatever the wearer feels uncomfortable with. Human bodies are not vessels to show off a designer's latest. We should not feel we have to conform ourselves to what the designers' ideas of beauty are. (Has anyone paid attention to the runway models in recent years? Who in the nine hells decided that anorexic models were a good idea!?!?) The designers should remember that it's the consumers whose hard-earned cash (or not so hard-earned, depending on who it is) keep them in business. Creating designs that are only good for their artistic value and then expecting real, normal people of greatly varying shapes and sizes to actually wear them is simply... well. There are better ways to run things. Everyone knows that one person can often pull off a look that another would look clownish trying to wear. And everyone knows... or should know... that there are some outfits that look clownish no matter who tries to wear it.
I find that the most beautiful clothes are the ones that flatter the person wearing them, without regard to what's in style that season. And that, my friends, is heresy of the highest order.
Mostly because it's true.