Yesterday, a friend asked me in all seriousness :
Do you actually even like fashion?
And it's legitimate.
The question, that is.
It's true — for the amount of time that I spend whining about the state of the fashion industry and all of the people in it, it's no wonder that someone would question my affinity.
In fact, I've questioned it myself.
Do I really even like fashion?
Is it maybe a phase?
Just a fleeting infatuation?
Like that time I got obsessed with finding a way to pretend I was British so that I could audition for a role in one of the Harry Potter movies?
Or when I knew that, if I didn't become Britney Spears by the time I was 16, I had, ultimately, failed?
But then, every time I bout myself, something arises to remind me that — despite the horrible beast that is Fashion-with-a-capital-F, and the devastating vocal inflections of those within the inner circle, and the nauseating-but-oh-so-beautiful flock of staged street style "stars", and the incestuous and insincere Fashion "friendships" at play —
I am, in fact, infatuated.
|dress: Raquel Allegra, boots: Rag & Bone|
I think back on junior year in high school, and how discovering that the simple act of getting dressed in the morning could help me decide who to be that day, changed who I actually was.
Or how in senior year of college when — against all odds — finding fashion helped me to love a school I spent 3 full years despising.
Or that time during my post-college trip to Paris, when idling outside of haute couture fashion shows introduced me to the true passion and honest intelligence present in the blogging and photography communities.
Or eventually, how starting a "fashion" blog quite literally changed the course of my life — not only making me into a person I was proud of, but teaching me that fashion was less about a static industry, and more about what I made of it.
So yes. There are many horrible things about, and people who work in, and lies that surround, "Fashion".
But why should that crap get to decide what I think of it for myself?
Why do I have to adjust my degree of affection because it's been tainted by others?
Why does what it "is" have to ruin what it could be?
Shouldn't I be allowed to color it for myself? To re-define it in a way that's palatable? Enjoyable? Inspiring? Empowering?
I must admit. I'm getting pretty sick of people telling me that fashion "is" one way or another,
and that I better just quickly decide if I can handle it.
Kind of seems like a cop out to me.
Photos by Joey Pasion.