**I'd like to preface this by saying I am very tired. I gave my friend a ride to the airport at 4 a.m. and have not slept since. For some reason all this came out of me and it probably makes no sense. Well, it does, but it may take some further explanation or simplification. I'm going to bed now.**
Fashion is an expression. It is an extension of mental and physical being. It becomes part of you. I do not wear certain clothes to specifically appear female. It just so happens that the clothes I feel a connection with are usually perceived as something a feminine person would wear. In my mind clothing isn’t gendered – it just the unfortunate fact that clothing has become sexist. Clothing began as just something to keep humans warm; animal skins to retain body heat. That perpetuated into a fear of being unclothed, which perhaps was born from the fear of dying – simply, no clothes meant you would freeze to death, except not from the weather. The harshest elements now are the opinions of others. Again, quite unfortunate.
All of that, coupled with gender roles and class systems and the invention of spare time, people became to create clothes to mean something, rather than to simply serve a function. Women’s clothes evolved to become more expressive, since historically they could not express themselves as individuals. Men, who have always had power, could express themselves freely, and were perhaps too busy ruling the world to worry about lace and hair and poofy collars (of course this is very generalized – I’m sure many kings found a divine hobby in dressing flamboyantly – but I would venture to say more as a symbol of wealth and power than of personal expression). Now, in this day and age, women, not in all countries but still around the world, have began to experience and express power - the women’s movement, burning bras, all that. There was a reason burning a piece of clothing meant something. That’s why more women wear pants than dresses now. I have a theory that when gender is neutralized in society, which, honestly, may not ever happen, everyone will wear the same thing. One, simple, black jumpsuit or something. Case in point: Star Trek uniforms.
With all that said, clothing still means something. It isn’t just something you put on your back. If that is what clothing were than it would be the same all around the world. It wouldn’t have developed in such different ways if it didn’t have some sort of cultural significance. In my own fashion experience, I put on clothing, not only to cover my naked body and to keep me warm, but to reject that cultural significance, to reflect it. I’m like a mirror reflecting expression and experience and culture and gender binaries and sexuality and beauty in the hopes that people will realize what they have always seen is a lie. It is my hope that by exaggerating the things that humans by nature have exaggerated over time (gender roles, clothing, beauty, sexuality, etc.) people will realize them in their most simple and purest state. Even if we can’t exist in it, it should at least be realized.
And besides all that, clothes are just fucking gorgeous. It is art you live your life in. Our clothes see everything we see. That’s why I loved Lady Gaga’s VMAs performance – that piece of clothing was living, breathing, bleeding. Our clothes experience everything we do.
“That’s just silly. They’re just pieces of cloth.”
That’s what I’m trying to say! They are just pieces of cloth – that is their most simple form! But they cannot exist in that way! If they did, then there wouldn’t be a difference between a cocktail dress and a pair of flat-front trousers. But there is. But no one realizes this until someone fucks it up and throws it back at them in an uncanny way – then they see clothes for what they are – pieces of cloth.
But it wouldn’t be any fun to wear just pieces of cloth. ☺