Not too long time ago in the midst of stress, tests and scepticism about almost everything, I was asked a question by a long time friend i hadn’t heard from in a long while. We were discussing settling into ones identity , change of mindset and the hold that fashion has got on us.
Hence the question baffled me a little but was the right question to be asked at the right time. ‘How has your relationship to fashion changed over time?’ was the way it unfolded. And to that i shall tell you my thoughts about my 10 year old relationship to a phenomena I’d rather not want to be related to.
My story is a bit different in relation to being obsessed by Cindarella or couture dresses from a very young age because I was 14 years old a december night searching for the hottest indie music on Youtube. I remember it clearly, it was all about searching for the next band which would lead me to the next ‘thing’ giving me a certain feeling of finding treasures. However, during my search i stumbled upon Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince slapping the hell out of each other looking fashionable and cool in their then latest music video ‘Last day of magic’. And I still don’t know whether it was the slapping and Alison Mosshart looking suave wearing a thin leopard jacket/shirt matched with patterned pink/black leggings and Dior Homme in gold boots that had me sold or just the fact that the lyrics and the music manipulated me along with the setting leaving me feeling mesmerized. But in that moment i knew without really grasping what fashion was that I loved fashion, wanted to work in fashion and couldn’t see myself not devoting myself to fashion.
As time went on after that moment, I began purchasing fashion magazines and following fashion blogs. It was as if I was obsessed and couldn’t get my mind out of it but this was also the time when blogs were booming and social media was on the rise. This meant that i could advance my knowledge on a high level and pretty fast due to keen interest. More and more because of this it fueled my desire to be a part of this industry making me go against my parents wishes for me to become… like them? Do something… normal. Which lead me to studying fashion and design at high school level but then realising I wasn’t really the practical type. Then realising i wanted to study something more theorethical and stumbled upon fashion studies where one studies and problematizes fashion as a science. This could really fit me I thought and went on with this, together with studying it with culture studies and art history, great combos. All along I must also say I found a love and interest for politics which I later became a part of but left it due to a fear of feeling limited and the lack of ‘fashuuun’. But it was the starting point that lead me onto writing, then writing about fashion which lead me to internships within publishing. Which in hindsight was fruitful and probably a game changer for me. Because after these experiences my love for fashion began to wane, and became weak. Leading me to contemplate about changing paths, and also to start questioning my relation to it. As it was the first time despite the lack of support from my parents for 6 years that i felt this way. By this time i was about 21 and had seen the realities of ‘fashiooon’ , it wasn’t dreamy, people were sceptic of my relation with it, i was sceptic towards it, and didn’t feel fun like in the beginning. Lastly, i could no longer see my role in it , neither as a writer, a dreamer or as a person in it nor feel gratitude from it.
So I moved on letting go off having to see me and my identity in relationship to fashion as something that was normal. I tried other things, to see what I liked and to find out where i could fit. Now going back to anwsering the original question i see that even in times of getting out of it, not wanting to be related with the idea of being fashionable, and doubting it, I never stopped loving fashion. Even when i was in politics i left because i couldn’t integrate fashion, even when i didn’t know who I was or when I’ve been sad i never stopped thinking about fashion and what it does to me. Even when i feel like I’m against it, i seem to find my way back. It honestly disgusts me at times but it’s like i can’t do anything about it. Making me think about the question that Vogue posed to Alexa Chung regarding what love feels like. To which she anwsered ‘ to me love feels like, there’s nothing you can do about it.’ Now if this is the case, it apparently must be how I feel about fashion after 10 years. Furthermore, had I gotten to anwser this question when I was fourteen it was clear that I was infatuated with the creme de la creme and its dreams, asked again when I was 20 and I would have persuaded you with the idea of my love for it. But now I can rest to assure that me seeing the bad sides was the only way for me to see if i really loved it.
So yes, my relationship has indeed changed over time. It is perhaps stronger than it has even been, and I believe that even in my darkest moments in life i will strangely somehow still yearn to have a relationship to fashion.
Text : Rosa Cruz