Tuesday, July 14, 2009

"Bean-bags, bobby-pins, glitter-gel and home again...

...where's my shiny golden key?" Good Life, by Leslie Mills

What is the purpose of fashion? Is it an art form? Is it to create works of beauty with master workmanship and fabulous materials? Obviously fashion creates a hierarchy amongst women (and many men), and it separates mere mortals from the celebrities who can follow each twist and turn and pay thousands upon thousands of dollars for these pieces that the rest of us can only wonder as to the use of...

Why? Why has fashion turned from that brief era of trying to make the most of the best features of a woman's body to this shockingly ugly "art"? People talk ad nauseam about how we need to change from an "anorexic" culture to a culture that allows women to have and cultivate their natural curves. But as long as we continue to subscribe to the magazines that only preach the overpriced, ugly, and indecently skinny styles, we will be worshiping that god--that hideous, repulsive, loathing god that makes us think we're fat, when everyone who loves us is constantly trying to tell us that we are absolutely adorable.

A friend of mine recently cited our First Lady as an exception to this rule. This frustrated me. Yes, she's not a twiggy, modelesque woman--thank goodness we have a celebrity with curves!--but please, why does every magazine and every publication feel the need to ooh and ah over every piece Michelle Obama wears, proclaiming the brand name as if that makes it decent style. It does not. And spending too much money does not give you taste. I think the First Lady is a perfectly reasonably attractive individual, but I wish she would buy clothes that are either pretty, or flattering to her body (or both!! Shocker!!) and that did not have to claim a designer title to make them worth anything. Why do we try to tell ourselves she is the new Jackie Kennedy? Jackie wore fabulous clothes, and wore them well...Michelle wears fabulously expensive clothes.

I sound like a hater, and a snide, snobby fashion Nazi, and any true fashionista would probably look at me (and my closet) with a decided sneer. (But my dear, that expression is VERY unbecoming). But I know what flatters my shape, and I know my colors, and I have a style. It's eclectic. It's simple. It's pretty. And it's fine if no one else wants to dress like me. I can admire other people who dress in ways I wouldn't want to--if only they dress well! And my friends, I don't think dressing a certain way (or not dressing a certain way) makes you a valuable person. It's what you do that defines you more than how you look...but if you are a nice, fun, wonderful person (with an artistic soul, like I know you have), why don't you dress to match that?

So. I would like to track people who DO dress well, and celebrate that beauty. In fact, I have been thinking for a long time about whether or not I would like to start a blog following our specific, New Mexico fashion. I know that sounds silly since I can hardly keep up with ONE blog, but still. Perhaps a weekly picture-post?

Because face it, New Mexico has their own specific style--due to our cultural heritage, our geographical location and the necessities that arise from our lack of humidity, heat, topography, weather patterns... :) Because cute as that tunic dress is for New York, I couldn't make it three steps here before the wind would blow it right away! Or those stacked heels that are so fabulously chic right now...I have to climb up and over a number of obstacles to get to my calm little office job--and I'm in a tame part of town!--and stacked heels are about as practical as strapping an eighty-pound pack to my head.

Beyond these practical limitations (or qualifications), we have the culture to consider. Our people here are made up of everything from mexicans to southern belles to cowboys to gangsters to scientists to mountain men to artists to all-of-the-above...and everything in between. And if you're looking for a nice, middle-of-the-road outfit...it doesn't exist. Jeans and t-shirts say something. Dresses say something. And sweatpants definitely say something.

So, anyway, these are some things I'm musing about. And it's all part of my own personal mission for the beautification of the state of New Mexico. And since I probably shouldn't go around telling people to plant flowers or paint their houses (and I'm one to talk...), I guess I can start with something people don't mind looking at, like fashion.

Isn't it ironic?

1 comment:

Pinon Coffee said...

Oh, _do_ start that project! I'll try to make intelligent comments, or at least friendly ones. :-)