Day in the Life of Candy
“Revolutions are the locomotives of history.” —Karl Marx
Last night I met my two best friends from college at Fred’s Revolución, a hole in the wall at a snug corner in Cubao X. Most of its tables are situated al fresco, its interiors emblazoned with posters of Marx and Mao, among others. The place was drenched in humidity, smoke, and pale light. It’s a perfect Saturday night refuge, so reassuringly nondescript that one can freely dislodge one’s most inveterate grievances, and the world shall conveniently turn a blind eye—not that I recommend it.
After a dinner seasoned with all the spices in the world, we moved to Bellini’s next door for a glass of Italian merlot and orange cake. Now it must be said that my two friends in question are presently in law school, so you can imagine what we’d end up talking about. Once in a while in between comments on contradictory clauses in international environmental law or fraternity-hosted fundraising balls, my thoughts would dart back to our dinner spot from minutes ago, where we were under the scrutiny of dead revolutionaries. It got me to think: When was the last time we’ve seen something revolutionary in fashion?
When I have absolutely nothing interesting or intelligent to add to a conversation—which seems to be a running theme in my life—I’d experiment if I can bore anyone with what I think about clothes, at which point, at least in this case, I’d be nudged and asked if I’d consider going to law school, too. “Wouldn’t it be fun?” my friend said. “You’d specialize in Style Law.”
Come to think about it, revolutions are actually quite a popular theme in fashion; it isn’t uncommon to seasonally witness the earth’s frailest-looking women decked out in full battle regalia.
John Galliano’s Joan of Arc in Dior Couture Fall 2006; C-3PO armored legs at Balenciaga Spring 2007; carnivalesque football armor in Alexander McQueen’s Spring 2005 chess match show (Photos: Style.com)
Having said that—at the risk of being frowned upon by the purveyors of nonchalant style—I’d like to think of every new piece of fashion as participant to some kind of an aesthetic revolution. But a revolution against what?
I have a joke I sometimes tell friends about my job: Sometimes I wish I were an accountant. God forbid the day that comes into fruition, but the plain sentiment behind it is that, often, it’s tricky being in an industry when one’s work is subject to be judged on matters of taste. Who gets to have the definitive word on what is, for example, wearable?
Of course the question of wearability, apart from the garment itself, depends a great deal on who’s going to wear it, how, where, and when. A particularly hard-to-pull-off trend will look overwhelming on the meek in style, but not on the girl who has the audacity to patronize what is not just conventionally pretty.
So I guess the revolution—pardon the grandiosity of the word, kindly indulge—is one that is precisely a response against that: Being stuck to a mindset that glorifies the plain, the obvious, the mediocre. Indeed the idea of “avant-garde fashion” is redundant. Fashion is essentially avant-garde.
Because Hollywood seems to be more approachable and much more hyped than the fashion world in general, I’m always excited to see the new breed of young stars taking a foray into fashion, making unexpected choices on the red carpet and publicity events. It’s cool to see them pull off otherwise grown up looks, making us take note that serious fashion can actually be young, fresh, and fun when given the chance.
If there’s a thing or two one can learn from these Hollywood kids, it’s that now is the time to experiment and to have fun with fashion! Moreover, I urge you to make a conscious decision not to be intimidated by what you’d originally think to be fashion that’s “not wearable,” “not practical,” or “too crazy”. You’d be pleasantly surprised that an open mind can bring new, exciting ideas and a jolt of newfound confidence in how you dress.
Suddenly thought of a brave outfit idea you’re itching to try? Share it with me at the comments section below, or tweet me @jedgcandy!
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4 Responses to “What We’re Participating In: A Fashion Revolution”
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