Coco Chanel said, “Fashion is architecture: it is a matter of proportions.” There was some incredible architecture on display last Friday in London at the royal nuptials. Much of it was elegant and inspiring. Some of it was… well… structurally unsound. At least by the standards of the peanut gallery, which as always consists of the knowledgeable and the opinionated (those traits only occasionally existing in the same person; I place myself squarely in the “opinionated” camp).
Chanel also said, “The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.” If we’re to believe Facebook, there was nothing louder at that wedding than Prince Andrew’s daughters: one, raccoon-eyed and pretzel-hatted, the other in a dress “too tight, too bright” for her skin tone and the occasion. All day I watched the drama unfold, with much of it directed toward these princesses. Who helped them make those selections? Didn’t any of them own a mirror? Didn’t any of them own an iron??! Why is that hat on her forehead? (And how is it staying on?) Since then I have considered those fashion choices a brave act.
We live for such occasions, don’t we? The red carpet at the Oscars is all about this: who is wearing which designer, is the color right, is it flattering, does it fit? Brazilian model Adriana Lima said, “Fashion is not just beauty, it’s about good attitude. You have to believe in yourself and be strong.“ You’d have to be strong to attend these events, knowing that they are just another opportunity for us to scrutinize and criticize.
I wouldn’t have the first idea how to choose a hat (you can see by my photo above) but I’m fascinated by the fascinators and have my own opinions about fashion. It seems to me that what we describe as elegant and tasteful on Friday will be forgotten by Monday. Björk’s swan dress at the 2001 Oscars was memorable. Lady Gaga’s get-ups are always conversation pieces. I’m thinking that the pretzel hat will be the same story. Everything else that conforms to some current standard is quickly forgotten. Another Chanel thought: “In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.” Somehow that always comes from believing in yourself and yes, being strong.
Does that require more bravery than you possess? It’s worth the effort. As William Makepeace Thackeray said, “Bravery never goes out of fashion.” How about you? Are you believing in yourself and being strong?
I think it depends on WHY. I won’t do or wear something to prove a point, political or otherwise, or to prove I’m upper class, bold, or fashionable. I WILL do or wear something because I believe in it. Of course, occasionally those two concepts can intersect… though I’m not sure they did at the Royal Wedding.
And therein, I personally think, lies the heart of the matter 🙂
That’s interesting. I agree that the why is important. I think I am more “playful” about wearing than doing. I worry less about mistakes, and am more willing to wear something to prove a point or prove that I’m bold, whether that’s a political t-shirt or an alien hat. But I guess I wouldn’t wear a political t-shirt if it expressed something I didn’t believe in, so maybe that’s the REAL why? Or maybe I don’t try to prove points I don’t believe in? Not sure.
Fashion can be so many things. Clothes keep that nudity thing under wraps, but they’re also an art form. A participatory art form, no less! With the whole world as “art” critics! Since we all wear clothes (well, mostly all) we’re all experts! I join in just as much as the next guy, honestly. What fun would it be if we couldn’t point and laugh? (I’m still wondering how she kept that pretzel hat on her forehead. It’s a feat of engineering!)
I honestly thought she stole a wall sconce from some wall in one of the palaces. “Awesome! This one matches my dress!”
I suppose it takes a special type of confidence to enjoy decorating the body with clothing as an exercise in self-expression/art. Me? Not so much. Of course, I suppose dressing in darks and clean lines all the time makes its own statement…