In my quest to delve deeper than #OOTDs and explore Identity and Fashion,
I asked myself “why do we wear - the things that we wear?”
an arbitrary question that could take years to research, but only minutes to answer if we’re truly being honest with ourselves.
I wore this because it’s my uniform.
I wore this because it was the first thing I saw in my closet.
I wore this because I wanted to make a statement.
None of this bullshit about, ‘I was inspired by comfort’ or ‘I woke up like this’.
For an assignment we were asked to write down ten things about ourselves, much later we were asked, "why we had worn what we wearing today?"
I decided to link the two and I began to wonder how things like “I have 2 sisters” or "I was born in Canada" might influence our identity.
As I worked my way through the list it all became clear -
how does one's upbringing and formative years shape the wardrobe essentials we reach for every morning...
I grew up with my mother who was constantly redecorating or DIYing things around the house - I would come home from school to find our living room and dining room had been flipped “just for a change”.
Or that she'd been experimenting with wallpaper and sponge paint techniques (this was the 90’s remember).
While her ever-evolving style was more focused on the home and creating newness with existing pieces - I learned to shake things up.
inspiration for fashion can come from anywhere. And to be truly unique one must look beyond magazines or the runways. Top designers the world over draw inspiration from everything but fashion.
architecture. nature. art.
And that's only scratching the surface.
The second pillar of inspiration and one of the other super strong female forces in my life... is my grandmother. As for as interiors go - she had graphic black and white marble painted lamps to contrast pink carpets and matching pink walls. Rooms were decorated by tonal colours. a red room, a purple room.
However, fashion is where she really shone. In her own personal style (Jimmy choo at 72?) and my own wardrobe.
As a kid I was hard to miss on rainy days - My grandmother would send me off to school in my Aunt’s (more on her later) vintage yellow see-through raincoat or if I was bored of that particular piece I also had the option of a multicoloured patchwork vinyl duffle rain coat.
...and they wondered why I was bullied
As an adult when I got a job that required wearing an all black uniform, she’d say, “why don’t you wear that gold PRADA belt I had to buy you?’
or “Why don’t you wear that black PRADA dress shirt with all the beads on the collar... be different ... standout!”
you see... I didn’t stand a chance.
While my wardrobe choices are in constant flux, my style mantra is quite simple and concrete.
I pride myself on combining a desire to be different with a need for honesty.
(read : no weird shit just for the sake of being weird)
Altering the uniform? ... Yes! if it doesn’t get you fired.
And confidence being the most important part of your closet.