It occurred to me today that maybe we use clothes as an armor. It would make sense, because we spend hours (more or less, depending on your obsession with fashion) deciding what to wear, and WHEN to wear it.
We’ve all been there: you find a perfect piece at the store, and you decide you’re gonna wear it in your next big appointment (job interview, date, first day of school, wedding…) Do you think it will make you more you or that it will simply help you stand? An outfit can make you walk down the street being confident, or on the contrary, it can make you want to run home and change. Again, please, it all depends on the attention you pay to these things.
I’ve been thinking about this as I’ve been wearing my father’s clothes lately. For me, they’ve become my armor, they give me confidence and, somehow, I feel like I’m honoring him. I think it could be a way of trying to “absorb” some of his essence (his way of dressing and, hopefully, some of his morals). I’ve always loved big sweaters, so now is my chance, right? I think that an item can have a special meaning because of the previous owner (vintage clothes, anyone?), but I also like the ability these have to change our mood, our perspective, even if it’s just for the while we wear it. There are many songs about girls wearing their ex-boyfriends’ sweaters to sleep, as a way of reminding the past relationship; vintage-shoppers love the feeling of endless possibilities when they go inside a vintage shop (shoes, trenchs, blouses, all with a special exclusive meaning).
At the top of my mind is Alexander Wang, a designer who seems to bring this “clothes as an armor” premise to his designs. He’s one of my favorites. The structured pieces remind me of heavy armors, and the metalic textiles, of chainmail.
Alexander Wang Fall/Winter 2012
Now, where’s my sword? I’m ready to go out to kill dragons, wrongdoers and save damsels in distress! Or maybe, I’ll be ready to save myself.