Wearing Thyself With Love

Do you remember the Turkish astronomer who discovered the asteroid known as B-612 for the first time in 1909? We know from Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s diary of his encounter with the little prince, that, when the astronomer revealed B-612 to the International Astronomical Congress, nobody believed in its existence because of his Turkish costume. Only after the Turkish dictator made a law which mandated his subjects to change to European costume, the IAC validated the astronomer’s observation in 1920.

The semiotics of fashion is far more democratic than it was back then. As consciousness is spreading amongst us, the beautiful residents of planet Earth, so is the idea of creativity and play. I remember very well a chance encounter I had with a muslim woman, Sunny, whom I met on the canal near Whitechapel, in London. We were both lost and heading towards the same direction so we walked together a late summer walk bathed in glittery sun rays and dancing butterflies.

We discussed the idea of self-love and we both agreed it is the springboard for everything else. That is where freedom starts as well and I wondered how can one express freedom when they are not allowed to wear anything else apart from their religious uniform? How can creativity manifest itself in these circumstances?

First thing one does in the morning is to choose what to wear. It is your choice to make a statement. If you are conditioned in having to wear something – be it the latest trend or a Ridaa – then your free choice is taken away by certain value judgements you adhere to with or without awareness of the circumstances.

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Needless to say, love does not care what garments you wear. It loves you as you are and it also loves to cocoon you in soft cashmere or fine silk. Love simply loves to play and create because it is a joy and it feels good. Therefore your choice to be creative when putting clothing on is entirely yours to explore and enjoy!

When we look at the British artist Lubaina Himid’s mixed media painting We Will Be from 1983 (in Helena Reckitt’s Art and Feminism; Phaidon, p. 145) we see a determined black woman wearing a dress on which it is written ‘WE WILL BE WHO WE WANT WHERE WE WANT WITH WHOM WE WANT IN THE WAY THAT WE WANT WHEN WE WANT AND THE TIME IS NOW AND THE PLACE IS HERE.’ Social and historical hierarchies must be questioned. We are what we are and we wear what tickles our fancy.

Guided by love one cannot fail in looking beautiful.

On these grounds I would like to explore the boundaries between art and fashion and also the development of freedom within fashion and art in a series of articles that wishes to present good insights into the subject.

By Rusty