March 9, 2011

It's true that I'm passionate about clothes...

Proenza Schouler pre-fall 2011

...clothes, not fashion, and not style.

I'm self-aware enough to know that there are too many words on this blog about clothes, and that my writing will never be taken seriously when it's just about my love for them.

I'm probably not doing a good job of crafting a professional self because I'm too uncertain about the stakes in that game. I don't want to play a game. I want to live passionately and with my whole being, without compromising my feelings about my clothes, without abandoning those worth my love and care before ever meeting them.

Jil Sander FW 2011

Adulthood is a concept that makes you act according to standards that are not your own. If you are approximately 11 years of age or older, you are actively shaping the world according to your own desires -- you are already doing what we mistakenly believe some other adults, somewhere else, are doing to us. You're making the world in your image every day.

Mary Katrantzou FW2011

Every day might not be a choice. Time may be circular rather than linear, and we may be predestined or fated to powers greater than ourselves. But that's where we have the most freedom. The freedom to not worry. Not to not give a shit, that's no good. But to not allow anxiety, guilt, shame, stress, or panic to consume our beauty and potential.

In Postmodern Fables, Jean-Fran├žois Lyotard writes:
Differences between the fine arts proceed from differences between... the various ways, all contingent, the body has been threatened by nullity, of being anesthetized: deaf, color-blind, bedridden, etc. Aesthetics is phobic, it arises from anesthesia, belonging to it, recovering from it. You sing for not hearing, you paint for not seeing, you dance for being paralyzed. In each of these arts, the tiniest phrase is equivalent to a remission of pain.*
Aesthetic experience awakens something indescribable that makes demands of us. I can't not be inspired when in awe of a garment. I can't resist the urge to care for it deeply, even its passing image on a glowing screen. I can't imagine an inability to be with things in this intimate way. Take these things away and the inevitable result is a deep sadness. A lack of pride in one's appearance can be truly damaging.

I can't deny that The Row FW11 totally stopped me in my web browsing tracks.

My mother was adopted from Korea by a strict and domineering American woman with a savior complex who forbade her wearing anything other than homemade mumus as a teen. This was during the 1970s in Hawaii. She stole blue jeans and tight tops, or borrowed them from girlfriends. She would hide behind palm trees to change out of her mumus and into her jeans everyday before arriving at school, such was the pain of humiliation in her mumus, which, btw, were made in twos so she and her adoptive (not genetic) younger sister might match. This story, told to me as I was granted freedom to fashion myself however I pleased from about 3 years old onward, has been deeply seared into my memory.

Sure, it's a Western social construct to need to seem "cool," and my childhood consumerist desires knew no bounds. But after exhausting all critique something undeniable remains. We might call that a love of fashion. We can also call it an embrace of life itself.

Celine pre-fall 2011

*From xii, here. bold emphasis added.


ellen said...

Thank you :)

chuck n. said...

like ellen said, thank you... for being one of the rare fashion bloggers that actually puts THOUGHT into their posts.

sorry for the flagrant self-promotion, but i'd really love it if you checked out the magazine i just finished! it's on my blog!

Micah Ludeke said...

Susie, this is gorgeous.

Susie said...

you guys are the sweetest. thanks for "getting me." :)

featherfactor said...

What a thoughtful post. I just found your blog. Honestly I feel the same way as you sometimes, like I spent too much of my time and resources on fashion...but it's hard to define the right amounts to devote to something I love so much.

Great writing :)

angie said...

I just found your blog via out of the bag.I recently made a switch from the old consuming self of mine!I feel very connected to what you say that I love clothes and not fashion or style.It's something deeper that connects me to getting dressed that what is presented in fashion magazines or the retail stores.
But most of all I love this journey That started superficialy but gets deeper and deeper to what I really want. Clothes is just the medium of my choice!

angie said...

Sorry, via one sleepless night.So many of on the same page,here

Kate said...

beautiful. very nicely put.