Fashion as Memory

On some days if you are lucky, you see the world with crystal clarity.

Sometimes that clarity comes on the foggiest and dreariest of days. And through that grey, there is the vivid green of a spring blossom, long awaited, long anticipated, illuminating your thought path.

In that haze of glistening streets, of Mr. Eliot’s muttering retreats, are gleams of familiarity: old songs you know by heart; laughs shared more than once; there are captured snapshots of your life.

It struck me during what I dare call a perfect day the other day, how much our memories are tied to the visual culture of our lives – to handwritten song lyrics, to the decor of a room, and most often, to the clothes we wore during the simple (and complex) puzzle pieces that have formulated our individual stories.

Sometimes it’s a skinny suit that’s cut to perfection with a pant break that will break your heart in the best of ways, or in a pair of men’s boots that’ll make you bite your lip.

Sometimes it’s in the tune that plays above your head, or the light that dangles precariously above a conversation, or in a conversation coloured by #54 lips.

Sometimes it’s in the flashback of a slingback.

Sometimes it’s in the leather and silk of a Shangri-La-di-da afternoon.

Sometimes there is freedom in the inevitable curls that accompany a torrential downpour.

Sometimes, we are bound by the tied laces of the winklepickers, given away long ago, and sorely missed.

We know what we were wearing when that boy looked at us across the dance floor.

And we remember what he wore, right down to the burnt orange of his shirt.

It’s the cargo we have carried – in our zippered cargo pants, in our electric blue eelskin clutches, in our over-sized coat pockets.

These memories, these captured moments, too, are like that favourite coat, that cozy sweater that recalls your cologne, that silky pashmina that flutters in the October breeze. We wear them with ease.

Fashion has never been forgettable for this girl. Remembering that made me want to write in this space, again.

These are some fashion photographs that reside only in mind. I wanted to share a few of them with you.

It seems I have a few more stories yet to tell you, my dears. Look for more fashion memories scattered like fairy dust in upcoming posts, along with my usual observations on the intersections of fashion, marketing, art, music and culture.

Image: Original photo of Alexander McQueen SS01 oyster shell dress from Style.com, modified by 
Yours Truly. More McQueen moments can be remembered, here.

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