(house of matching colours dress, john's ride t-shirt, rachel comey coat, way old shaper shorts, ann demeulemeester boots)
This outfit is a bit of a myth, or Alan Moore's idea of a lie. "Artists use lies to tell the truth", he said, an idea that is both an illuminating insight and an inconvenient truth Think about it. What is art?, other than a series of compounded fabrications, carefully arranged to describe something about the human condition? In this case the lie is that I did not wear this outfit out, and in fact shot these photos on a blisteringly cold day, the kind of day that rots your fingers. I put together this outfit while I was kind of half-heartedly thinking of some outfits to wear at Fashion Week. I don't really care anymore about getting super dressed-up for Fashion Week but I do view it as occasion to wear the things in my closet that I rarely have occasions to wear; I work and am busy and am generally a hermit and these days, I've got little reason to leave my home.
This dress is probably the most ethereal thing I own and falling headlong into its etherealness feels just a little too costumey for me, so I like to temper its magic with something very utilitarian. This Rachel Comey coat is essentially a gigantic men's jacket made from the thickest wool, and it keeps me warm during the coldest days.
I am putting together pieces for an art show (more on that later) that deals with the theme of anxiety, and whenever I feel anxious, I am always hit with a sense of disconnection. It is though my brain, reeling from feelings, defends itself by detaching. So I wanted to capture that sort of detachment with this outfit and photos. And despite the arresting beauty of this dress, I can't help but feel a bit like Miss Havisham in it. Like how alone and sad she is, dressed in her finery, pining away for something she will never have, and how that distorts her, twists her, into a creature that your heart bleeds for. It all goes back to my fascination with finding (or creating) utter melancholia in beautiful things. And how, on some level, that melancholia is part of the beauty.
The details of this dress are stunning a level that I can't even fully appreciate; I feel like if I could fully appreciate it, the specialness would dissolve. And it works well with black underthings because of the vaguely blue tones. Sometimes statement pieces are the most impossible to style but often the most rewarding when it clicks - and personally, I enjoy the challenges of distilling the subtleties of a statement piece into something much more wearable.
Paired with the Ride shirt because I've always felt that Ride was the kind of music you should listen to alone. Or maybe that's because I spent a lot of time listening to Ride alone. Their music has an intensely wistful quality. When I first discovered Ride I lost myself in songs like Dreams Burn Down and Chrome Waves, though I breathlessly ached for someone I could share that music with. And as much as I can say that I have found that person, I recognize the value in wallowing in that yearning by oneself. A romantic partner can never fulfill any sort of longing in one's life. We should always strive to fill that yearning within ourselves. It isn't an impossible task, however daunting it may seem, and perhaps it is worthwhile to revel in your own personal desire. That's part of the journey.