An anonymous reader recently questioned my content choices and asked how I think “overpriced fashion” qualifies as sentimental. The reader challenged whether or not I was being true to my mission statement when doing blog posts about fashion and food. And that got me thinking – about my content and the things I share. Honesty is an imperative part of this process so here is my honest answer to that anonymous question. Fashion in my opinion is art. Even if I cannot afford a $5,000 dress I appreciate the workmanship that went into making it and the visual pleasure it induces when I look at it. I could never afford to buy a Vermeer and yet I get an extreme thrill from going to a museum and looking at his exceptional work. We admire things of beauty even if they are not ours to keep. The beauty of media today is that it makes images and art freely accessible to the masses. And I think that is something to celebrate.
To further explain my point – the photo shoot below is full of stunning images. It is incredibly artistic and as I flipped through the photos a story started to unfold in my mind. The model shows such strong emotions on her face. The sentiments that the images induce make me long for a trip to a far off land. They make me want to walk in fields of thistles and fall asleep on the forest floor covered in thick moss. The photography by Boe Marion is astonishing. During this cold dormant season where we slow down and get introspective I find that beautiful images (of fashion, food, animals, landscapes, and people) mean even more to me. I guess you could say they make me feel extra sentimental…
One woman’s story as imagined by a Sentimentalist:
In the first image above our heroine has reached a moment of clarity. This is the instant when she realizes it wasn’t love. It was constraints. She found a controller, a partner who wanted to change her. There’s so much she still wants to do. So much she needs to see. She wants to make choices. She needs to do it on her own… And this is the moment when she commits to taking the leap.
She ditches the dress. And then, then she can start to feel comfortable in her own skin again. She is getting re-acclimated with herself – wrapping herself in the soft natural materials that help to ground her to the earth and her surroundings.
She takes time to breathe and reconnect with the land. And only when she has traveled backwards and reconnected with the woman she was before the ornate dresses and codependence is she ready to find that murky middle place where the naturalist and the sophisticate come together. She then learns to be herself under and within the confines of a more structured life. The stiff collared coat is no longer a straight jacket – it now becomes her armor against the elements. Head held high – she is ready to work towards the future she always dreamed of.
She works the earth. With each task exuding more and more beauty from within. It is in the blending of the structured and serene, the natural and constructed that she is most happy. She is herself again.
She has found the intersection of high and low – that place right in the middle were the loud and quiet meet to create a gentle hum. The fashion that confined her in the beginning of this story has now transformed her. It helps her to blend into the jagged yet beautiful world around her.
And with this new sense of peace, freedom, and strength she is ready to take greater strides. She begins a new journey.
And on that journey she will find others like her who are broken, in need of healing. The woman who has made it through the storm is there to hold the burden of her new friend. She is there to say – I have been where you are, seen what you’ve seen. Have faith in your strength. Have courage to change. You will make it too.
And that is the story that unfolds in my mind when I look at beautiful images of people wearing high fashion clothes. All things – the emotional, intellectual, silly, and sincere have shaped me to be the woman that I am, a true sentimentalist. After reading this does anyone else feel sentimental with me?