I’ve been reading and thinking a lot about fashion and style as communication. This Politico piece
argues convincingly that in Michelle Obama’s official portrait, the key point is the dress – by a politically outspoken black designer, and referencing a specific African American crafting history. And designer Walé Oyéjidé, who created a striking scarf
seen in Black Panther
, gave an eloquent TED talk about the importance of fashion as a revolutionary vehicle: as story-telling, subversion, re-centring.
I also really liked this Seamwork article on exploring your personal style
through examining your history, values and identity. Most of the time we don’t think about our wardrobe in these terms, yet these aspects are deeply embedded in our choices. I mentioned recently on Instagram that I’ve been increasingly gravitating towards using black or grey as an outfit backdrop, with colour accents; viewed through this lens, I think it reflects how I’m placing more value on simplicity these days. At the same time I miss the more expressive, romantic way I used to dress when younger. (You can see that in my “Miranda’s Wardrobe
” pinboard, which I use as a design reference. It’s how I’d dress if not constrained by current lifestyle, budget or body shape!)
I could easily lose hours browsing Google’s We Wear Culture
project – I’ve linked to it before but there’s already a lot more content. (This
is a good overview.) And I love how the very name of the resource makes the point that it’s not “just” fashion: it’s a multilayered expression of influences from art, music and society, and part of how we construct and interpret identity.