Accidental Icon: The Other Side of My Coin
Last week I wrote about my fascination with the darker side of life. My very close friends, those that know me the best, call me the “Good Bad Girl”. This reflects the idea that there is another side of my coin, those moments in life that are full of lightness and translucence where the best of human existence is possible. Perhaps it can be chalked up to being a Gemini but my persona and thus my life experiences, have always contained elements of darkness and light. Like the feeling one gets when looking at a piece from an Alexander McQueen collection that is beautiful in it’s horror, I have always been able to climb up from darkness and feel “the unbearable lightness of being”.
Roland Barthes, philosopher and author of the Fashion System, talks about how clothing concerns all of the human person, not just the body but also the relationships that individual body has with the world. Since studying the subject of fashion it has become evident to me how sociologically important it is. Fashion documents individual and societal histories and contains and plays with elements of oppression and liberation. It tells stories of how the wearer relates to power and how a woman might manage ambivalence. So more and more I realize that my ever-evolving choice of clothing and the on-going development of personal style is about containing the darkness and light of my transaction with the world and the many encounters I have had in my life and work with good and evil.
For me there is a kind of aching sweetness to the outfit I chose for today, a counterbalance to the edge of last week. I feel rather angelic. The dress is white, illuminating the encroaching darkness that comes with twilight. The color white can reflect all the visible light of the spectrum and thus offers unlimited possibilities. It symbolizes new beginnings, wholeness and completion. You cannot hide behind white because it easily becomes translucent. It offers a sense of calmness and protection and psychologically has been found to alleviate emotional distress. I have been feeling a desire to wear white this summer. Whether it is dresses, shirts or skirts, my desire seems to reflect a movement to someplace new in my life. A kind of letting go, one that may explain why in some cultures white represents mourning. Whatever it means, I am continuing to climb.