As part of cleaning up my “hot mess”, I have followed through and just completed 3 out of my five overdue doctors appointments. I have been very lucky with finding some wonderful women primary care docs but they always seem to move up to the suburbs to be closer to their homes and children’s schools once their career is established in the city. During my last yearly exam my doctor was expecting her second child and so I predicted the “moving on” letter would soon be forthcoming. I was right and so this week I got to meet my new doctor and am happy to report my good luck continues.
So what does this have to do with fashion? Well after the warming up period, hearing about my DNA (family history), that I am a professor, my assessment she stays current and reads her literature, my new doctor tells me that she likes to challenge herself by guessing what her patients do for a living. I asked her what she thought I did. She said by the way I was dressed (and I was wearing what I am wearing in the above photo) she thought I was either an architect or someone in fashion. In situations like these when someone asks my employment I generally say professor so when she said that, I told her, I guess, yeah, I am someone in fashion.
I have been struggling to identify what I do in the world of Accidental Icon or to answer the question, “what do I do” in fashion. Most of the world (except my most engaged followers) sees me as an “influencer”. For me that does not quite describe what I do though I know I have been able to inspire and influence others about a number of topics, like inclusion, which are important in that it will hopefully change culture. I also know that there have been creative ways I work with brands, am paid for it, and I have also been able to raise money for non-profits through that kind of work at the same time. However when my doctor told me she thought I was an architect it gave me an absolute thrill.
Now for the DNA part. I am probably more like my maternal grandparents than any other blood relatives I have. My grandfather was an architect and my grandmother was a cellist, a performing artist and as you already know, quite a fashionable and stylish woman. Credit where credit is due my rebellious nature probably comes from my Irish paternal grandparents. So I think that in the doing of this I am being influenced by my DNA just as everyday I take a low dose aspirin to reduce my genetic risk of stroke.
In some ways because of my notoriously performative relationship to my clothes I am like my grandmother, a sort of performance artist. When I think of the website I have built as my “virtual home” I am being an architect like my grandfather. In disrupting the notion of social categories I am like my Irish rebel relatives. Somehow these descriptors feel more real to me than “influencer”.
As my DNA interacts with new experiences, I perform my identity. It elaborates. It builds more rooms in my house. When my grandmother came to visit me she always brought me a book, a garment, a cultural object from her travels and a wonderful story. I will try to fill the rooms of this “house” with more of those things as I discover them and invite you to share your discoveries too. And of course it goes without saying I will always be rebellious in the doing of it.
What’s your DNA and fashion story?
Scroll down the “home” page of my blog to LUXURE to see what I brought to the “House” this week.