Saturday, July 10, 2010

You Know You Want It

It has been 102 degrees round here so I was exiled to the bedroom with the air conditioner on. Mom bought a new one for the living room so now I can use the computer in this room again.

I want to return to a treasured topic: fashion.

I've been re-reading the Eric Daman book You Know You Want It and would like to buy a used hardcover copy from Powell's that is in good condition if I can find one there or on Amazon.

In his introduction he writes:

"We're going to discuss how important what we wear really is, how the world uses the way we dress to draw conclusions about us, and how to use all this knowledge to look our best."

Take heart:

"The key is that 'best' means the way you see it, not the way the world has imagined it. What I want you to come to understand is that your own life, interests, dreams, and inspirations are the building blocks for your personal style-and harnessing your signature colors and pieces will be the trick to creating your own amazing look."

He believes:

"Really, whether you realize it or not, costume design is what you do every time you get dressed."

Eric Daman is the costume designer for the CW show Gossip Girl.

I can tell you that I'm gearing up to revise my style once again. This fall I will buy one petite structured black jacket to wear to work and out to meet editors.

The Breton knit shirt that I exchanged for an XXS is still too big in the shoulders so I take it to the tailor to get altered and if he can't fit it to my body alas I return it and get a credit.

You see I've kind of changed my tune or possibly it was part of my ethic all along: I admire people who are rule breakers and set trends instead of following them. I'm not that kind of chameleon though I'm ready for a change.

I have a pink Oxford shirt and a white Oxford shirt and some long sleeved tee shirts the most elegant one has a low neck and leaf fringe at the neckline and is aubergine.

As a young woman I once borrowed a friend's purple tee shirt to wear to a concert. She was a dramatic kind of woman and I coveted her style.

You see: all my life I've been inspired by other women who dress well and aren't afraid to take risks through fashion. Perhaps this is because I have a Trendy accent style along with my Classic fashion temperament.

Oh: I broke my vow not to talk about the style types in here. Forgive me. I really do think fashion is a kind of shorthand for interpreting the things a woman values in her life and her own personality.

Only 23 years later after I left the radio station I wouldn't be so iron-bound in professing that "you are what you wear" although this is most likely true.

For example: to me a woman who wears a sweatshirt and jeans and sneakers all at once is telegraphing to the world that she doesn't care about impressing people and comfort is all that matters.

Though I would submit wearing sneakers and jeans together has to be one of the most uncomfortable and sloppy looks around.

I understand that a lot of women see nothing wrong with such a look so more power to them. I often remind myself it's not that they don't care how they look they simply feel that dressing that way is perfectly acceptable.

To me I feel kind of bummy in sneakers. I have a pair of brown suede Pumas with mint green suede stripes on them that I will wear with a long green skirt and I have a pair of black sporty walking shoes.

I have two words for you: walking shoes. There's no excuse for wearing sneakers unless you're going to the gym. Save up your money and splurge on RockPorts. You can walk a mile in them no problem because they are walking shoes.

At this point I'm sure a Coach pocketbook is going to be bopped on my head. I'm sorry: I have definite likes and dislikes when it comes to fashion.

Only today the stylist did not show up at the salon. I rushed over in my black pants that end just below the knee and the black sport shoes and and my coexist tee shirt. I wore the white cotton skullcap because I knew I was getting a haircut and didn't want to shampoo it in the morning.

This is the cap that everyone comments on. It's one of my bad hair day hats that I wear to work and running errands on those days when my hair would make little children cry. So the bus driver is Turkish and comments on the coexist tee shirt because it has a Turkish symbol on it and he wonders where I bought it.

"Last year at the West 4th Street fair."

It was my stop so I told him to have a good day and exited the bus.

This whole indirect blog entry is coming to the point I was trying to make: you dress to please yourself not someone else. It took me years to understand this. I still draw the line at green hair and piercings and multiple tattoos whether alone or together on someone's body. Yet I admire a woman who is not afraid to be bold.

As a young woman I was entranced with the goth girls with jet black hair and pale skin who imitated Siouxsie Sioux the iconic lead singer of Siouxsie and the Banshees-a band popular in the 1980s in the counter culture. I slathered on my own dark blue eye shadow and streaked blush and crimson lips that made my face look abused.

I was one of those Siouxsie girls.

That is how it is when you are young and in love with the music. When I heard college radio for the first time the sound rushed in my brain and I was hooked. It is true music can change your brain chemistry. It was like a drug I wanted to hear it and needed to hear it and decades later the music moves me.

It is a Saturday night. You can go on and listen to Matt Pinfield spin the greatest music from eight to midnight.

You see. I've been writing for a half hour about life topics. There is more to life than the workings of a defective brain. All of this-fashion and music-was a way I could be creative and recently it was suggested that my being creative might have given me the adaptability to cope with my illness later in life.

This is true.

So I would tell anyone living her life in recovery to be true to herself.

Just starting out you might have to play by other people's rules in order to get a job or be taken seriously yet once you find your wings it is imperative you express yourself as only you can.


Even today I can admire someone who decides to color her hair green without needing to run out and dye my own hair green. That is the difference. I was impressionable when I was young as all young people are and my fashion reference point was the clothing the other female disc jockeys wore.

Is creativity an inborn trait or can it be developed?

Researchers have been able to directly link creativity and schizophrenia.

I read about this and a light bulb went off: cheers-this accounts for why I always felt like I was different: my brain was hard-wired in an unconventional way.

I will end this blog entry by giving you hope:

Schizophrenia is a medical condition that affects your brain chemistry. You are born this way and at some time in your life your brain is going to crack and you have no control over this. When your brain is ready to crack it is going to crack.

Understanding this I was cheered because it enabled me not to feel guilty for having gotten sick. It truly is the luck of the draw: a random happening yet could be triggered by stress like when my beloved Grandpa was in the coma when I was 22.

You Know You Want It.

I wanted more than anything to have a life worth living so that is why I was compelled to dare risk dreaming of having this life not the one expected for someone in my situation.

This blog entry I dedicate to the dreamers who refuse to settle for the status quo. To the women who desire to make their mark and won't take a backseat to anybody else.

Green hair optional.

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