Wearing My Emotions
This is Marquesa Lola reflecting today on the way we use fashion to not only mirror who we are as people in general but also to express how we feel at a particular moment.
Just like artists use different lines and shapes to express their feelings, I consider clothes and accessories those elements of art that always hold meaning to the artists wearing them through their shape, textures, or colors.
Many designers have chosen to express shoppers’ feelings on their garments. Shops like Forever 21 or Zara have been very upfront in printing messages of encouragement or affirmations for young shoppers.
But, I have seen messages more discouraging like; “The Worst,” “I am a Bitch,” or “Lonely.” These very blunt messages to me transmit a certain attitude or mood of the person wearing it. Sometimes the mood is part of their personality, but many times expresses a mood that the person is going through at a particular time.
“Clothes and accessories help me maneuver life in a more bearable and positive way.”
But, even if I, myself, use these types of statements on my shirts sometimes, the real way I use fashion to express my feelings is, perhaps not unique, but very personal and meaningful to me.
Ever since I was a child, I liked using bright colors with the intention to bring the sun, the stars, or the ocean close to my body. The feeling of thinking these elements are part of my attire gave me a sense of wellness that I have perfected throughout the years.
I believe the root of this practice for me started one day in September, 1973. This day was my baby sister’s funeral, and us, the rest of the four children were not allowed to go to church. I guess they thought it could be a traumatic experience for us girls.
We stayed home with one of my aunts. My aunt was, most of the time, a very melancholic woman. No one hardly knew this fact, because she was always put together and fashionable. My aunt was always wearing bright colors, and oversized earrings and jewelry, . She was beautiful. She never had children of her own. So she took care of us girls at this very hard moment for my parents.
“I realized how covering pain behind a beautiful dress and jewelry could help me feel a bit less afflicted.”
It is a tradition in my country to wear black for months in mourning after someone dies. The day for the funeral, my aunt, however, decided that she wanted to wear a bright yellow dress. In addition, she chose brown and yellow oversized circular earrings. I remember, she said to me,” I always want to dress as if I am about to meet James Dean. Even if my heart is broken and aching that day.” At that moment, I understood that grief has to be felt inside. And I realized how covering pain behind a beautiful dress and jewelry could help me feel a bit less afflicted. I was already very much fascinated with my aunt’s choices in life in general. And her sense of fashion in particular. Therefore, adopting this practice was a matter of days for me.
I, too, use color, accessories, and styles to cover up my real feelings. My routine is not simple. I organize my closet by colors.
My sister, who is a fashion designer, submitted me to a thorough analysis of my body and skin tone. She identified me as “Autumn”. As a result, so I use mostly warm colors. I recommend everyone to take this study as you will improve your self-image tremendously if you follow her tips. I am lucky that I am “autumn” because I can use colors I adore; orange, yellow, Valentino red, gold, turquoise, earth, and hunter green.
As you can see, clothes are just more than a piece of fabric covering up my body. It is a way of expressing my feelings at times. However, many times, it is a good way to hide those feelings, especially when things are not perfect in my life. Clothes and accessories help me maneuver life in a more bearable and positive way.