Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Unbearable Lightness of Dressing

Ultimately, I strive to become a singular being.  I have always said that I feel like I have a carousel of pictures spinning in my mind, a host of different ideas of who I am, and more so, who I can be.  This spinning has gone on for years, running all sorts of gamuts.  This is inconvenient when trying to build a closet:  when a new concept comes up it always felt like "Everything must go!".  Luckily, I feel as though I have gone through all of the self-incarnations and am finally stream-lining or at least coming to understand what it is that I value when it comes to style.  

I have always loved variations on prep school chic and silliness, or what I call 'The Unbearable Lightness of Style" (in reference to Milan Kundera's "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" (which if you haven't read I thoroughly suggest that you get to it)  I think that in style there are two very important factors, which are seriousness and frivolousness.  Duality is necessary to serve whatever purpose it is that you are trying to get at in the long run.  And this is why I love the prep school/ professional/ suit up look.  It is completely functional and it speaks to what you are doing and automatically asserts your position on the world.  I had a friend that, when he put on a suit, would refer to it as putting on 'war paint'.  

The other half of this serious look is that it makes doing things like reading and public speaking easy.  Fashionable and utilitarian, there is a sort of abandonment of the senses in favor of intellectual ideals.  But...

There is something delightful on the other end, which is frivolousness.  And when the two are put together I think the results are spectacular.  And that, my dear gentle reader, is something that I whole heartedly believe that this past decade has been missing, and it is something that for the most part the late nineties capitalized on.  I am not a fan of the modern hipster look at all:  it is all surface without much substance.  I think that the indie movement is dead (for all intents and purposes) and there is now the empty shell of the hipster ideologue, equipped with beards and mustaches and skinny jeans.  While hipster fashion has given us many things, I want to see more of someone's personality shining through.  I want more Bjork and less Gaga, only because Bjork's fashions were apart of her mystique, not the only component. 

Serious frivolity is fashion that reflects a certain Je Ne Sais Quai-- the combination of artistic and intellectual fervor and light, airy, whimsical silliness combined with the seriousness and studiousness of the scholar...

I wish I would have gone to a school like this.

Danny Embling.

Frivolity with Billie the Vision and the Dancers.

Heaviness and Lightness.

Georges Melies 

Rene Magritte

Jean-Luc Godard's Masculine-Feminin

Seriousness and Lightness

Seriousness and Lightness

Suited up.

Intellect trumps Fashion, Creates Style




Heaviness and Frivolity.

I want fashion to be a feature of your life, not the only bastion of your humanity.  I want the books that I read and the films that I watch and the philosophies that I ascribe to create an outer display that can be worn as a jumping off point for the rest of life.  In my ideal world we dress in honor of our hearts and heroes and in doing so become those intangible things.  I want to materialize the souls greatest industry, which is imagination, hope and idealism.  I want to not only dress "Vive Le Resistance".  I want to be it.

Until our next read, take care of yourself and dress your part.

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