Monday, July 5, 2010

Introspection 101

We parked in an alleyway, sunlight bleaching everything in its wake. Lots of exposed bricks. Exposed bricks and crates and concrete. We looked at each other and grinned.

The outfit: second-hand leopard print nightie (didn't realise it was a nightie when I bought it! Looked at the label and saw it was all in Arabic, and that it was made by 'Jasmina Lingerie.' Putting two and two together I got: ladies' underthing), Kinki Gerlinki skirt, Topshop jodhpur leggings, vintage boots from Melbourne, Ray Ban sunglasses (uh, durr.)

I have been "wild about prints" lately. Sorry for the brief excursion into fashionese (THINK PINK!) but wow- all I have on my mind is how to team one crazy swirly item with another crazy polka-dotted item and whether green polyester with gilt trim is too-too much over the woolly lamb jumper and matchy turquoise Kinki G. skirt (answer: unequivocally no. Looks great!) and how to get more ikat into my life. 

Thus Saturday's outfit, perfect for dallying around the Farmer's Markets and going to Ikea with my housemate to furnish our little home. And also- perfect for, like, a totally random photoshoot! In an alley! With garbage bins and broken crates! My life is, like, so glamorous. (Does my tongue-in-cheek tone translate here or do I just sound like a fourteen year old Valley girl? Hmm. . .)

But back to prints: why is my question here. Why, for the past six months, have I only wanted to wear black and navy and yet all of a sudden, I have to wear every colour and pattern I can find in my wardrobe? If fashion is my map and compass in the morning, I should be pulling on all shades of 'nude', neat pants under tucked-in tonal blouses, shift dresses- aka neat ladyike ensembles. I guess I'm digging the ladylike silhouette- but in COLOURS! Wild colours, prints that feel like a soundless yell, so eye-smashing against each other than I look like I'm running even when I stand still. Or something.

Joanne Finkelstein says that,
fashion is not just a vestimentary overlay, a disguise of fabric and style which covers and thus rewrites and reshapes the body. Instead, it is a new way of speaking the body, and freeing it from silence... it becomes a form of cultural expression, much like writing, which renders the interior exterior. (After a Fashion 1998: 67-68)

I wonder what is it inside me that needs to be visually spoken through brightness? 

And, on a tangent, does anyone else think the phrase 'speaking the body, and freeing it from silence' is really weird? Our embodied selves are so expressive, even when motionless (that itself is a communication sometimes), so are they ever really 'silent'? I'd say, rather, that clothes are another way of speaking, just a different means of articulation. In a way, though, it's quite a beautiful idea, this literally making material of what is intangible and interior. 

I explored this idea in my essay, and suppose that makes me a living example of this argument, exemplified by my mania for all clothes coloured and printed. So, guess I'm the personification of a nerd? O dear!

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