Sunday, 17 January 2010
Why are we wearing what we wear?
It is certainly a complex construct of different motivation factors that determines a person’s choice of clothing on a daily basis. It is the fast changing ‘grammar’, the flux of the of the sign-language of today’s society together with our own ever-evolving identities that make it an impossible task to come up with an omni-applicable formula: The red jumper might represent love and warmth for one person, it might recall that horrible car accident for another, it might translate into one’s mother’s love who has gifted it at one point or it might remind the next person of a public figure or friend they admire and want to emulate. Even when somebody claims ‘it is just a red jumper’ and it may not consciously convey any further meaning to them (apart from functionality perhaps) this person still cannot escape from people around him or her ascribing meaning to it.
As Simmel (1904) put it ‘the man who consciously pays no heed to fashion accepts its form just as much as the dude does, only he embodies it in another category’
In an attempt to at least learn about my own habits and motives when it come to selecting clothes (that is composing outfits from my wardrobe and not from rails or shelves in shops) I started the DRESSING DIARIES. Every day I record thoughts and feelings about my clothing choices. Just like an ordinary diary this has proven a rather therapeutic tool of self-reflection. You start telling stories through your garments. It is full of surprises, revelations and confessions...