“Modernism was a response to the challenge of nineteenth-century science, which had investigated reality in new ways. Although science regarded the visible world as the real world, by contrast with an unknown, and probably imaginary invisible world, the natural sciences ultimately challenged the ‘reality’ of what we see and pointed to an underlying structure, showing how the visible world is the result of invisible energy or unseen chemical combinations.”
-Elizabeth Wilson, Adorned in Dreams
I have always been a strong believer in the fact that there is more to the world than what we see. That seems obvious in the 21st century with the increase in modern technology and science but I have tried to take this further into explaining the way that we dress ourselves. If you have been following this blog for awhile you are quite aware of my many endeavors of trying to explain my beliefs through phenomenology (i.e. that we are influenced by our environment, audience, things we watch/listen to/read, reality and fantasy, etc.) and as I was reading my thesis book I came across the quote above and felt the need to share it with you all.
The exact definition of alchemy is "any magical power or process of transmuting a common substance, usually of little value, into a substance of great value." To me that is exactly the way that I would describe my style or style in general. Taking things that cost very little and experiences that everyone has on a day to day basis and mixing it all together to make something extremely meaningful and powerful that has the ability to affect others deeply.
“Anthropological discussion of dress tends to blur the distinctions between adornment, clothing and fashion, but is interesting because when we look at fashion through anthropological spectacles we can see that it is closely related to magic and ritual. Dress, like drama, is descended from an ancient religious, mystical and magical past of ritual and worship. Many societies have used forms of adornment and dress to put the individual into a special relationship with the spirits or the seasons in the enactment of fertility or food-gathering rites, for war or celebration."
Even though today we have so much more freedom to dress in any way that we want many of us, if not all of us still use clothing to get in touch with traditions, seasons, holidays and so forth even if we don't follow them or celebrate them. For the 4th of July we wear stars and stripes, for Valentines Day red, for Easter something white and funerals something black. This just goes to show that our style is deeper than just our personal beliefs but also tied into our cultural traditions and rituals. We are more than what we seem, even to ourselves.
I know that all of these photos may seem random and not gonna lie, they are. I have been so busy with school, photo shoots for other people, catching up with friends and research on my thesis papers that doing a personal style shoot for the blog has been practically impossible. These photos come from a variety of sources ranging from my i-phone, webcam and DSLR but all of them give a good insight into what life has been like for me the past few weeks. No I did not drink all of those beers but they do make for lovely interior decoration if filled with dried flowers and represent a time in my life with someone who is no longer with me. Yes I did light a sparkler in my room and almost make the fire alarm go off and don't recommend it to anyone living in a dorm. And yes I did build a teepee in my room and it is fucking amazing. These are the things that make me me, that make up the bits and pieces that get interpreted into my personal style, into my photography and my writing. These are the common substances that get twisted, molded and transformed into the great expression of an individual.