Monday, November 21, 2011

My Historic Perception of Fashion

Fashion is a tool for expressing myself. I know that sounds real cliche but it's true! At a young age, I lost my maternal grandmother. Growing up I felt robbed of not knowing a true style icon. Her elegance was often portrayed to me through pictures shown to me by my mother. My mom did a great job of expressing style secrets that date back to my great grandmother. But my craving for fashion came from wanting to embody the eloquence from my grandmother's style.
I'm often nicknamed an old soul. My inability to go back in time upsets me. I guess not knowing my grandma made me fall in love with the era she grew up in. Specifically the 40s to the 60s inspired me at first when it came to style. My fondness for history intertwined with fashion became a new hobby for me.
Early on I fell in love with style icons such as Dorothy Dandridge who was breathtaking in Carmen Jones, Marilyn Monroe's ever famous white halter top dress and Jackie Kennedy's famous pink coat she wore on the day her husband was murdered.
In Junior High, I tended to associate my fashion views with my feminist views. I believed fashion was a tool that women inwardly possessed. Fashion moved away from housewives, long skirts into a more modern feminine style approach. I think this is where my feminist approach stemmed from. Women slowly started to express themselves through an avenue called fashion.
Learning about the existence of the birth control pill which led to the sex revolution, the civil rights movement and the Hippie movement made me want to express that care free attitude that lay within me. I just wanted to walk around barefooted and protest for no reason lol. I wanted to be able to rock out to the Beetles live and go to a drive in movie. This time in history brought upon change in the way people thought and especially the way people dressed. I just wanted to wear a whole bunch of sequins like Diana Ross and dress up like Tammi Terrell and do my eye makeup bold like Twiggy (even though I suck at makeup lol). I just wanted to be carefree in my dressing. But High school restricted me from doing that. High school was a time of that style limiting thing called uniforms. It was really hard to express myself the way I wanted to when it came to fashion. I didn't want to be called weird and I wasn't bold enough to showcase my true style and so I stuck to the conventional way of dressing. This kind of led to me moving away for school. I wanted to be able to dress the way I wanted!
When I came to University I did just that. I don't define my style. It's a mix of everything. I just go with the flow. I embody whatever I'm feeling at that moment. I think right now I'm trying to incorporate that corporate look because I want to be a lawyer with my unconventional way of dressing. Fashion has always been my clutch. It's something that I can totally be myself in. Its a tool used to showcase different sides of me. It's an expression to who I am. Fashion is deep! It ain't shallow at all!
Jode-Leigh Nembhard, Pre Law Major with a concentration in Political Science and a minor in Business Management