If you're like me, then you live for moments of self-realization- small glimpses of how the world sees you, how you are when you aren't having that mystical experience of first personhood. Recently I've experienced a fashion revelation: I think that I might dress like a clown. Seriously.
That's me (bottom row, first on your left) hanging with my homies at the crib about a week ago.
Ok maybe not. But case and point: I only feel truly comfortable in my skin when there are at least 2 different patterns going on in one ensemble, or I've got kitschy flower pins or scarves adorning my already wacky pieces in unusual ways. I always like to have at least one piece that throws the look a little bit off. Plus, I'm obsessed with oversized bows, ruffles, and lace. Even my myspace handle is reality doll. Am I unconsciously crazy and everybody knows it but me?!?
I feel like my fashion might be screaming that I've got one of those tiny cars chock full of looney tunes driving around in circles in my brain. Even worse, I hope I don't look like one of those artsy kids that seems to have a "good eye" but somehow never manages to pull it together right. (See HGTV's interior design guru Candice Olsen for an example. She's got some nice pieces, but when they all come together it's a not-so-hot mess. Amazing at interior design, terrible fashion sense.)
I had this realization while doing laundry at my grandparents' house. Maybe it was the piles of unwashed mismatched clothing that prompted it, but in true revelatory fashion I suddenly blurted out "I think I dress like a clown!" with the utmost earnestness (Yes, it is a word. I looked it up for you.) Miss Betty, aka mammaw, chuckled and assured me that I DO NOT dress like a clown, but that I am very clever in my choices. Yes, clever sounds much better than clown. And if grandma approves, then I must not be too crazy. Either that or we're both senile.
In a recent NYLON mag (the London Issue), they asked the up-and-coming hip Brits to describe their style in one word. One little reality doll described her style as "precise," which I've totally appropriated for myself. If all I get is one word, I don't think I want it to be"clown." Still, "precise" seems diametrically opposed to the apparent clowniness (No, that's not a word. I looked it up for you. Clownishness, however, is a word) of my wardrobe. I'm so complex that I'm irreducible to just one word, but I'll be damned if my second choice is going to be "clown."
Naturally in this time of need I turned to my fashion bible, TEEN VOGUE, for guidance. Teen Vogue never lets me down because they always know what's up. Anyway, during this particularly distressing fashion crisis/reevaluation of my self and life, I spotted a spread on A-Z fashion trends for spring. Across the page were shots from two of my favorite shows for Spring 2008, Miu Miu and Luella, as well as a pic from one of the most inspiring layouts I've seen in a while-- which can only be described as wearable whimsy, an Alice in Wonderland fantasy. Floppy flowers and oversized stuffed hearts adorned headbands and hair, while heart pins and beth fenton L O V E letter rings, bows, stripes, buttons (and more!) decorated the girls from head to toe. I'd personally call this page fashion heaven, but Teen Vogue went with "Z is for ZANY." (photo taken from teenvogue.com)
So zany it is. Maybe my closet isn't reminiscent of a clown's but it is, admittedly, a bit zany. But not just crazy-lady-down-the-street-zany (Although I predict this for my future). I'm like purposefully directed zany. Zany, but always precise. Those floral and stripe mixes are no accident. That scarf around the wrist isn't hiding a regretful "BREATHE" tattoo a la' Lindsey Lohan. And those socks and heels combos are not for my personal comfort. I'm zany on purpose. Because it's fun, people.
Thus, I give you the secret to life: Fashion is fun. Life is fun. Fashion = Life.
Don't ask me if that math checks out; I only know about the clothes.
Moral of the Story: I guess this piece is more like a page from my diary than a fashion news spread. However, if there is a message to be gathered it's to be yourself. Oh yes, you've heard it before, but honestly what does that really mean? You can arrive at the state of "being yourself" by having the courage to doubt yourself and take stock of all aspects of your life, including your wardrobe. The process is nothing short of a spiritual journey into the depths of your soul. Well maybe not that deep, but don't you feel better now?