This, My Loves, Is Fashion
The lure. The seduction. The sensual, illicit thrill of lust at first sight. That thing which makes your mouth water, and your mind run counter-clockwise with desire. With longing. The first fitting as the hands of silk dance across your bare skin as the fabric – jewelry – hair – bag – shoe kisses your body the first time. The second time. The third time. All in private fests of lovemaking and indulgent planning. Then the first time seen in public – and the kiss of the oooh’s and aaah’s as you strut / glide / catwalk into the room, knowing that all eyes are on you and you are IT. And you are ONE for this spotlight moment in time.
This, my Loves, is Fashion.
Fashion is not defined a singular designer or photographer or magazine or name or city. Fashion is not defined by a color, a style, today’s icon and yesterday’s glory. Fashion is defined, and defied, and designed, and demanded, and declared and decreed, by YOU the bearer of its gift. Fashion cannot be bought or sold, imitated or stolen, copied or manufactured. Fashion cannot be priced, mocked, hated, loved, painted, photographed, destroyed or captured.
Fashion just IS.
Fashion = You = Blood = Streets = Style = Beat = Heart = Fashion = Soul = Freedom.
Fashion and style are intimate cousins, twin flames of desire that are as intertwined as leather and lace, fur and feathers. In order to truly understand fashion, you must understand that fashion is not to be bought. Fashion is truly about being free to bare your soul to the gods of desire and letting your body be caressed by the things only you see beauty in.
This is how you know you are Fashion: You don’t plan to stop – and you certainly have not planned to shop. In fact, you are leaving a car wash. In jogging pants and a ragged T. With gardening shoes on. Because – well, who TRULY washes a car in cut-off skin tight blue jeans and titty tops? You stop at Poplar & Highland for gas at Exxon. People look – and glance again, unsure why but knowing that you are something. Because, even in your dirt, you are diamond. You are lured over to Rainbow to what an untrained eye would think is an ugly rack of $7 sundresses. You try on three – and the fitting room becomes an Amazon jungle of bird chirps and titters and calls. Because, on you, the dress comes to life and breathes and lives. And you hear, with a slight touch of envy and (in the dumb ones still unsure of their feminine strength) cutting jealousy, “It don’t look like THAT on the rack!” or “We’re built the same way- and it fits wrong on me!” Your smile is brilliant because, in your head, you have already moved to dinner with your girlfriends. Dancing with that Boy. Or, just because you’re happy, shopping at Kroger in your pretty ugly dress on a dreary Saturday morning.
You are fashion when you receive the grace of knowing the power of your luscious red lips and a messy, unplanned updo over sushi with the Girls. You, in your jeans and t-shirt, provide an unexpected backdrop against a sea of leggings, stripper heels, stretch dresses and strained desperation.
You are fashion when your language is no longer defined by designer names and colors and styles and trends. You have received the grace of knowing that those things matter not. Not now, not then, not never. Because if you have it, you have it from the thrift stores to Neiman. And if you don’t, no front row ticket to Fashion Weeks and unlimited wealth will ever birth the phoenix of Fashion in your blood.
You are fashion when you can convince a girl-child coming into her own to rock not against the stream, but to roll on her own path….and hear later that the whole school is jocking her newfound style.
Fashion births its own. Fashion crosses gender and generation. Fashion crosses rivers and oceans. Fashion sits low and looks high. Fashion is the twist of a tie and the twist of a tongue. Fashion is the ability to give away clothes that have history – to someone excited about adding to the history and not taking it away. Fashion does not starve – Fashion feeds.
Fashion, like love, is patient and it is kind. Fashion never seeks to destroy others less fashionable, because there is no such beast. Fashion seeks after its own kind and the smiles gently at the rest, all amassed at the Gaps and Old Navy’s and Macy’s of the world. Fashion, like love, does not envy or boast. Fashion uplifts because all are available to Fashion – and Fashion is available to all. Fashion is not proud. Fashion is humble. Rooted in torn t-shirts made into dresses. Blue jeans cut open and resigned into skirts. Ties twisted to belts. Skirts hemmed to imaginations. Rabbit lived like the finest minks. Fashion, like love, does not dishonor. Fashion nods its head elegantly and with delight to its elders on sight and tips its hat in adoration to the young lions. Fashion, like love, is love.
Fashion is Brooklyn. Memphis. India. South Central. Seattle. Rio. Guadalajara. And France. It is a tablecloth turned to a wedding dress and running wild through the pages of Vouge…and being pinned deliriously by the hundreds on Pinterest. Fashion is bows and paints and colors and plain and vibrant and delicious and naughty and pure and prim and proper and Naomi and Linda and Domonique Devareaux from Dynasty and Naomi from Mama’s Family and a girl trying her first lip gloss and bangs and the boy popping his collar the first time.
Fashion is blood. It is beat.
Fashion is. Are you?