Shoes - Jeffrey Campbell, Multi-Colored Bullet Necklace - Courtesy of Unearthen, Cuff - Courtesy of JFR.SE, Everything Else - Vintage
First things first:
The GiGi Vintage contest is running until Friday. That means you can still enter to win a hot cross (Ha! If ever you liked hardcore, you'll find that unintended word pairing a tad nostalgic!) necklace fo' free. To enter, just "Like" GiGi Vintage on Facebook here and write "I heart GiGi Vintage" on their wall!
Secondly, a certain comment made me ponder exactly what fashion blogging is. What are we all doing here, behind our computers with our DSLRs and platform shoes and memory cards galore? Where does fashion blogging fit in? Why is it important?
I think that the first thing to acknowledge when asking this question is, "What role does fashion play in the world?" Fashion is an art form like any other, but is perhaps more telling from an anthropological standpoint than any other form of art because it is so wrapped up in the way our lives function on a day-to-day basis. Also, you've probably heard me say this before, it is the only form of art in which everyone participates on a daily basis. This even includes people who don't consider their aesthetics, either out of priority issues or out of different interests. The art of personal aesthetics is a form of visual communication. A person's appearance conveys their values, age, social group, economic class, and affinities. It helps us identify potential kindred spirits. It helps us know what to expect from one another. Certainly, we do not rely solely on fashion to tell us these things, but we do take it into account as part of a complex arrangement of symbols and social cues that serve as an initial springboard for our interactions with one another. Sometimes, this may be to detriment, but other times, it may be to benefit. It is, like anything else, a method of communication. When done artistically, it is a method of self-expression. Furthermore, like any art form, when done creatively, it adds an element of beauty to the world. For me, an interestingly-dressed person walking down the street can brighten up an otherwise grey and concrete day in Los Angeles, just the same as an intricate wall mural or public sculpture. Sometimes, there is an element of joy to personal aesthetics, and an air of fun that is contagious, lifting the spirit of the immediate community. I fear that this may self-involved, but I can only speak from personal experience: I cannot tell you how amazing it is when someone stops me on the street to tell me that they love the way I'm dressed. These comments are said with such full, genuine smiles, and by people of every background and age. To think that I was able to brighten someone's day simply by dressing like a weirdo is marvelous, and it is even more marvelous yet to see someone else whose appearance makes me smile. An interestingly-dressed person is walking graffiti when he-or-she leaves his-or-her home, there to add a temporary splash of additional interest to our world.
I could write a dissertation on all of this, but I will try to keep it brief for now. I think that the role of the fashion blogger in all of this is to keep the art of personal aesthetics democratic. We are here to bring community to the fashion world, to engage one another and delight in this common appreciation for all things visual. We are here to show the many different sides of personal aesthetics, sides that fit any wide range of budgets or taste. We are here to discuss the positive effects of fashion -- to show how it fulfills us creatively and how it can inspire strength and confidence. We are here to troubleshoot the negative effects -- to call out the ways in which the industry/media fails to meet the needs or moral expectations of the people. We inspire aesthetics, we inspire dialogue, and we inspire change.
As for how it affects our confidence, I can (again) only speak for myself. I am not sure if I am a confident person because I dress like a silly person every day, or if I dress like a silly person every day because I am confident. Of which I am sure is this: there is no shame in admitting that I am a stronger person because of the community with which I associate. Former riot grrrls may recognize the line that follows, but be assured that in this context, I mean it with sincerity, to all of my readers and to all fellow bloggers: I am proud to be associated with you.
Last but not least: I got a Twitter. Finally. See, I am turning 25 tomorrow, which is basically ancient, so really it's a miracle that I can use a computer at all. Me using Twitter at 1/4-of-a-century in age will be akin to watching:
A) a dolphin fly
B) Terry Richardson tell a young lady that her skirt is too short
C) me not get judged when buying a 36-pack of Mountain Dew at Costco (srsly, it happens people)
D) Brit wear a Spirit Hoodie
I am going to give this thing a shot, but honestly, it's a lot of pressure. Follow me on Twitter and watch as I attempt to be witty in like 100 characters or less or whatever. You'll laugh! You'll cry! You'll...hopefully be patient as I get the hang of it?