What does FASHION mean to me?
Having studied the art for six-plus years, a question like that often takes me back. It takes me back to a time when Kylie Jenner was far from being considered a fashion icon; a time when we were NEVER allowed behind the scenes of NYFW without having to commute to Lincoln Center. It takes me back to my first time cracking open my brand-spankin’ new laptop with my even newer version of Microsoft Word, as I prepared to write my first college level essay on that very topic.
“Fashion means the world to me. It’s the heartbeat of our nation, whether we acknowledge it or not. It fuels our economy while giving those who are voiceless clear and crisp vibrations that only makes sense to -- if no one else – themselves. It is a means for self-expression. It knows neither limits nor boundaries. ”
Only seven months in to my 18th year of life, I thought I’d answered the question with such deep interpretation and evident adoration for the topic. What I failed to realize was that while fashion does fuel our economy, it isn’t what gives us room to express ourselves; it isn’t what speaks for us when we don’t have the words – STYLE, my good girlfriends, is what’s responsible.
Quoting the great Yves Saint Laurent, “Fashions fade, STYLE is eternal”.
Moving in cyclical phases, fashion trends circle in and out -- in waves of
popularity and months on the “What NOT to Wear” list. One thing a cyclical phase or fashion trend can’t take away from someone, their sense of STYLE; the way they rock what they wear -- it’s personal! It’s the essence of the cliché saying, “YOU make the clothes, the clothes don’t make YOU”.
Style is what evokes emotion; style is what reveals your personality. Style makes room for risks; it makes room for mistakes. It’s the evolution of who you are but it NEVER goes away.
While fashion and its incredibly artistic attributes still mean the world to me, I believe that as I’ve grown, STYLE is what I have fallen in love with. I’ve fallen in love with the ability to try things with your wardrobe that, perhaps were influenced by designer collections or editorial photos, but is a still a version all your own.