Like so many young women I’ve always loved fashion; the fancy of dressing up, trying on new clothes… the promise of a new dress… a new self….
When I was a kid I remember playing in my mother’s scarves, shoes and kohl eyeliner. Spending ridiculous amounts of time circling things in catalogs and using my little brother as a dress-up mannequin.
Boy was he glad when he was old enough to meet my dress-up games with well-placed nuggies and his specialty: atomic wedgies.
Sibling torture aside, over the years my love affair with fashion has traipsed every trend, every celeb-u-tante Editor-In-Chief, every fashion bible and every designer. In high school, when kids were into labels; Iceberg, Guess, Sergio Valente, I proclaimed my allegiance to no-name brands and thrift store finds.
When college came around and the casual style of dress: flip flops, cutoffs, t-shirts, was the standard I went left, opting for a funkier collegiate style and ultimately solidified my lasting love of fashion.
What was this obsession with style and using it as a barometer for myself?
I vividly remember sitting in the back of my 9am Geography class, under the dim lights of the auditorium. Ignoring the stalagmite projections, I would read my VOGUE magazines, imagining a world where people pranced around wearing McQueen dresses and Yves Saint Laurent shoes. A world far away from mine.
Lately I’ve been reconnecting with the self that drooled over Style.com and fretted over her fashion mags.
And while I’m a long way from that 20 year old girl, even further from the kid who used to torture her little brother, the pulse is the same. And the joy that I derive from seeing a stunning dress or an embroidered shoe, that promises gold with every step, is still here.
Some things, like our first love or a clandestine memory, never leave us. They simply get pushed to the back of our minds (or closets) waiting to be unearthed and ready to wear for a new occasion. And love, ah love, like a hand-me-down dress or an old pair of heels, always fits us just right.
When did you fall in love with fashion?