Welcome to mi casa, — suit du jour —the place where fashion governs everything. While I am half-kidding, I am also half-not.
I love fashion and believe it can change you. It can transform your mind, even your soul, if you let it. Are you willing to find your, suit du jour, the one subject that rocks your world daily?
Most students on campus don’t realize it, but there is a small fashion design program in Human Ecology through which I am a student. It is called Fiber Science & Apparel Design. We, students of FSAD for short, do exactly what the name of the major implies — experiment with fibers and manipulate them in crazy, absurd ways to achieve designs we feel will move people.
Even at the start of classes this year, I find myself learning a great deal (I aim to be a chic nerd).
The Anthropologist Terence S. Turner wrote a provocative essay on fashion called “The Social Skin” (Turner 1980). Its opening line is the most moving:
“Man is born naked but is everywhere in clothes (or their symbolic equivalents).”
In today’s consumerist society, we choose to clothe our glorious and naked selves everyday in our attempt to be considered normal. But beyond fashion, the real question to consider is what does normal mean? Who is to say what normal is and is not, and am I normal? Ha… anything but.
I take pride in being different and I encourage all of you to take pride in being different, too. There is a certain humor in the act of dressing, and one can either embrace that the color pink is really his/her favorite and own it by wearing a sweet crew-neck tee or a bow-tie, or can refrain from doing so because society thinks it’s a little strange.
I mean, if Robert Redford can sport a pink tux in the 1974 version of the Great Gatsby, surely you can too. You must pink-y promise to continuously be open with yourself and unleash that inner voice of yours!
Molly Kestenbaum is a Fiber Science & Apparel Design major in Human Ecology. She is a hopeless romantic, lover of fashion, and avid explorer of life and all things weird. Her column ~suit du jour~ appears on alternate Wednesdays this semester. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy reading, and stay stylin’!