@JERRLIFE

Why Fashion Is More Than Just Clothes To Me


A few nights ago, one of many where I stay up till 5 in the morning wondering why, I had a nostalgic urge to look at my high school yearbooks. It's been a few years since I graduated and more than ever, these yearbooks do look like they were made by students (read: grossly amateur). Still, they bring back memories and feelings from that time despite how inaccurate it has been chronicled. 

In retrospect, my yearbook photos didn't look "bad" and "ugly". They were fine

After looking at every photo critically and reading every word carefully, I had the urge to look at my old fashion sketches. I was an incessant drawer and I was known for defacing my school work with sketches upon sketches; sometimes to the detriment of losing marks. I've had an innate interest in art for as long as I can remember and some time during the end of elementary school I became particularly interested in fashion - although I would still gladly discuss music, film, art movements, whatever with anyone. Thankfully, I was smart enough to go through pages upon pages of school work to cut out all the sketches before completely ridding myself of them at the end of the semester.


I drew two things: impossibly thin, tall female figures - that are a bit strange but so am I so - in some look-of-the-moment (Prada, Balenciaga usually) Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen candids, or an imagined look altogether. Second were just as impossible gamine like faces so synonymous with me, friends still say "she looks like one of your drawings" when we somehow see a real life person resembling one of them. 

The more I looked at them, the less it became about what they looked like and more about what they represented

It's been years since I last saw these sketches and initially, I reacted to how beautiful they were and for the first time, was convinced I am good at drawing...for a 16 year old. But the more I looked at them, the less it became about what they looked like and more about what they represented. Just like my yearbooks, my drawings are a loose summary of that moment in time. It is less obvious and the memories in them will probably be only apparent to me but somewhere in the lines that composed every drawing is my soul. Besides academics, high school is an overwhelming time learning about yourself, others, and the world only intensified by hormones; my sketches are a culmination of all that. At a time of change and uncertainty, fashion was my constant. The times I felt discomfort from myself and others, fashion let me escape. The times I felt vapid and disinterested, fashion entertained. The times I felt inadequate and reality felt grim, fashion let me dream. And looking at these sketches, I feel those again.

Somehow, somewhere I forgot this is what fashion did and continues to do for me. Then, it was my high school glory the way medals, school clubs, and A-filled report cards were for others. Now, it's the thing that gets me excited the most - besides cheesecake and red velvet - and has given me a direction in life. Fashion is more than just clothes to me. It's vitally how I get to be who I want to be and thanks to my drawings, I am reminded of that.


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