Getting to Know Your "Red": Here's Mine
Welcome to all the new readers that found me due to a recent video on Buzzfeed. I would also like to thank all the people who emailed me and commented and due to the sheer volume I cannot possibly respond individually although I would very much like to. Know that I have read every one.
The video seemed to touch a great many people who for various reasons, needed some encouragement to forge their own path and follow their "red" when it comes to dressing the way that they want to dress. Pushing past fears or strong messages that define us and going against societal constraints is not easy and we all have different access to privilege which may make it easier or harder. So most times there is a risk involved. My risk in entering social media is that I may lose control of how I am represented. At times this makes me feel ambivalent about putting myself out there.
My platform is inclusive and not about a specific age or gender or body type or color or any other social category. In all honesty I did not start this project as any kind of crusade to champion or give advice to any one group or to start a movement of any kind, rather this is all about my "red". Anything else has been "accidental". My red is my love of fashion and my desire to take it on as a subject of study and interaction. It is my pleasure project that so far has been shared by others who share this same passion. It is for people who want to think and talk about fashion and how fashion can express our selves, lives, values and culture and be a form of art, creative expression or if you desire, rebellion. It is sometimes my, and their, reinvention adventure.
Often what happens in second semester is that I will get an influx of students into a class that has Part 1 and Part 2. Because the newcomers have not taken Part 1, I have to take the first class to review to make sure that everyone is on the same page. Because of the expectations and questions I read in some of the comments and emails I feel a need to let you know what you may expect here. I like to be transparent. It is always helpful to read my "About" page. This need has also made me think more about what I believe about personal style and saying it clearly.
Because personal style is just that in my book, PERSONAL, no one can tell you what to wear except you. So you will not find style advice from me, though the brilliant comments of my readers may give you some inspiration. There are many wonderful blogs that will give those kinds of suggestions in their posts, or link you to products shown or tell you what to wear when you travel or have a big event to attend, but that is not me. You will find encouragement to take a risk, experiment or try something new. The reason being that I believe that personal style is an equation that only you can calculate.
Personal Style = your personal identity now + personal identity you are experimenting with or aspiring to + the current culture and time of history you are living in + creativity + critical thinking
So here there will be much encouragement to express your personal style but in my view it comes from within you, not from outside. Here questions will be posed that may help you reflect and think about your own equation. When one looks at personal style from this equation anyone can have it and it does not equate to designer or expensive clothes, although for some that may be part of their personal equation. My wardrobe is a combination of thrift, vintage, gifts from the emerging designers I support, designer pieces I have gotten on sale or saved up for because they represent an essential part of me, consignment stores, sample sales, and pieces I have made myself. I wear pieces over and over again, like the Mother jeans in the photo above. I find the search for the items, the going to vintage shows and the looking through pages of on-line consignment to find exactly what I want, as part of the creative process. Clothing to me is raw material. Now I am taking the time and doing the work to learn construction so I can up cycle and create something modern and new. So your personal styling equation takes work like anything else worth having, But first you need to be clear about the question who am I and/or who do I wish to be?
So lets talk personal style and begin to answer the question: How does yours fit into the equation or not?