SPACE blog – CARLA COCHRANE
I have always felt myself being in close correspondence with you. A season in which everything seemed to slow down, and float softly back down to earth after the hectic and somehow stifling energy of July. Aside from the fact that now I can wrap up slightly warmer, and watch the young children head out to their first days of school, i like that you bring new beginnings. As you sit mid way through the year, and my falters and stumbles have been put into illuminated perspective, I shyly relish the fact you make me feel like I can begin again. Recently, as I have been learning about fashion, it seems this isn’t my own guilty secret. It is In Fact many people feel the woozy urgency to replan who and what they are for the lying months ahead.
A moment In the September issue that particularly stuck out at me, for however briefly, wasn’t a Grace Coddington collection or part of the basic plot. It was a point where the screen said how it was only April in real time. I found that strange. How in several months before people are already planning a new version of themselves, rather than doing it urgently. Perhaps this is a sense of my impatience shining through, but I always thought of aesthetic coming in bursts of impulsiveness opposed to months of planning. It made me feel slightly uncomfortable, as if there were elves at work in the middle on the night, planning new style whilst everyone else parades confidently In what they currently deemed as up to date.
Fashion, it both equally interests and terrifies me. I’ve never known how to feel about it. Personally, I cannot say it was something I had ever experimented with. I was a tomboy as a child, and that energy has always sort of remained with me. Not in the sense that I don’t enjoy makeup and the classic ideals of femininity, it’s just in my nature to be a little more masculine in my mannerisms. I never considered myself someone who was interested In clothes because I never liked to put clothes on myself. The kinds of styling I enjoyed was one that probably all of us have experienced at one time or another. When you were little sitting on the end of your mothers bed to watch her get ready.Watching her put on makeup, tame her hair, and then after being in and out of the cupboard like she had been trying on her whole wardrobe, you see her decide on that final outfit. It was only on reflection I realised that I did like clothes, I just didn’t like to put myself in them. I get that with a lot of things really. I like to write, but not to read things allowed. I like to direct shows and not be in them. I like to draw and not show people. Some people feel being “always the bridesmaid, never the bride” is a negative thing, but for me it’s a general preference. It’s something I need to break away from, and that’s why I’m glad this challenge was presented.
I was worried being put as a designer for this challenge. Now I have grown a little older, I do have my own sense of style, but it was never something I felt was particularly fashionable. It popped into my head when I was asked that I had only just got the hang of dressing myself, never mind a handful of others. I analysed catwalks from all the pros, tried to rekindle the information I had once learned from my Americas next top model phase, and somehow find a way to express all the ideas in my head through some sort of visual concept. It was a particular moment for me, when I was watching Alexander McQueen talk about his fashion and his opinion on the matter, where he described how runway fashion doesn’t have to be pretty, it should be walking art. I liked that. I thought about it a lot after that. It was one of those moments where after hearing something, you just put things down carefully, and the moment repeats itself in your head just as to let it sink it. I like the idea of having the things you wear tell a story about who you are. To put forward an outward expression of how you feel and a glimpse of your personality from a first glance. As cliché as it may be, it really did change my view on what fashion is. You don’t have to dress beautifully to dress with style. You don’t have to be in a factory line fashion persona for you clothing to be interesting .
The whole idea of fashion for me recently has been turned on its head. I have this poem in my room called “beauty? boloney” and I feel like now I finally understand it. (I know, where would one of my blogs be without a poetry reference) It says “but we are wandering from the subject which was beauty: song of larks. All winds, and flowers and shrubs are suspect, but we prefer the brothers Marx. This whole poem in relation is about different perspectives on what beauty actually is. It replaces the idea of classic beauty, and in exchange gives us the idea that things such as comedy and horror can be beautiful in their own respects. I’ve found this oddly validating for some reason. “Pretty” isn’t a word I’d use to describe myself or the things I like. I don’t mean that in a self depriving manner. I prefer the interesting, the weird and quirky things in life. I suppose it brought me comfort to know there are other people out their with the same thoughts that beauty can be a variation of things, and that we can do what we love and not fear the unpolished nature of it all. I find that all pretty cool.
One of the reasons I used to love you autumn, is because I could hide in you. When the skin tight feeling of summer was over, all of my model fit friends sighed as the sun stopped hitting their backs. As their shorts would be neatly folded away in preparation for next year, I could dig out my oversized sweaters and cover myself head to toe without a glimpse of anything unusual. This year, though, I feel like I am excited for you in an entirely differently light. A new way to style my wardrobe, and bode a sense of pride in my appearance, rather than use your fading lights to hide from it.