As I’ve gotten older, one of the best revelations I’ve had about fashion and personal style is that getting dressed doesn’t have to be entwined with your perception of your body, which is especially freeing if those thoughts sometimes take you to an unhappy place. On the contrary, what you wear can elevate you from obsessions about the ideal body shape and size, whatever that means for you.
This has been a slow-learned lesson. In my twenties and most of my thirties, my incredible self-consciousness combined with self-centeredness and insecurity made me I felt that wearing anything but tight clothes that showed outlines of my body would make everyone think I was trying to hide extra weight. Because it was all about me and how I looked, obviously. So I wore a lot of bodysuits and tight jeans in the nineties, wedgies be damned.
But all that is not about fashion or style. It’s about fitness maybe, or diet, or genetics or body dysmorphia, or who knows what. Style and/or fashion is about creating a look. Creating shapes. Creating a feeling, even, and having some fun while you’re at it. Right? At least it can be if we can disentangle it from all that other crap.
Each year, the Costume Institute in New York throw’s a gala to celebrate the opening of a new exhibit—this time it’s a retrospective of Comme des Garcons designer Rei Kuwakubo. She’s known as reclusive and avant garde and has probably never given a care about anyone’s toned abs.
Her designs place importance on shapes that say something new, that make you wonder how on earth that garment is doing that or that just make you go “huh?” in a good way. Or a bad way, I doubt she cares.
The exhibition also inspires the dress code of the opening event, which is always on a Monday and happened last night. While some ignored the theme and just wore pretty dresses, those who were game channeled a Kuwakubo vibe on the Met Gala red (actually white) carpet. My favorite is Tracee Ellis Ross, and look at Rhianna! On this red carpet, her rockin’ body is not the point.
Back in January I said 2017 would be the year of the edit, and in keeping with that, let’s toss the concern about the way our bodies look, and wrap them in some really cool-looking things. I promise it’s way more fun.
And I swear to you guys I wrote this before I watched this video, but apparently I’m kinda sorta on the right track: