japonisme: connect the dots

24 November 2009

connect the dots

how do you choose what to wear? are garments always costumes, assuring that you will be taken by others as the role you wish to fill? there are those who suggest that every single item of clothing is a choice communicated, down to the last nuance, and a statement made, down to the last whisper.

me, i am driven by color. and cotton. and though i believe i have no consciousness of what is fashionable whatsoever, there remains something of great importance about it all.

i can remember the white empire-waisted sheath that i wore for high- school graduation. it had a black cummerbund with white polka dots. i was, and still am, quite delighted that i could find an enameled bracelet that was white with black polka dots to match.

several times here we've discussed the volumes of identity revealed in various cultures by hairdo, or costume, detail, or grand gesture. if it was true then, it must be true now. something as 'simple' as a woman's fingernails might immediately brand her as 'one of us' or not.

do you want it to be true for you? do you communicate through appearances consciously? might you be kidding yourself, telling a different story entirely than the one you believe you're telling? how is your identity spelled out by your clothes?

i have come to believe that identity, appearance, opinion are, for most of us, invisibly malleable -- we think what we think, wear what we wear, even know ourselves to be who we think we are... to fit into the group of our life. it could be dangerous not to.

to be born 'outside the box' changes the perception of this, but does not wholly negate its pull. we like to think we create ourselves out of free will, but if that were true best friends wouldn't dress alike, nobody would call to ask what to wear to the party.

that old song, 'you've got to be taught how to hate,' well, you've got to be taught everything else too. how can something so unimportant be the most important thing of all?

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Anonymous Evan said...

I really like the use of pattern in Oriental & Oriental inspired art. It amazes me how, in some pieces, they use flat, decorative patterns with maybe a line through it to denote a fold, but still manage to create dimensionality (if that's even a word). Beautiful post, as always.

27 November, 2009 10:24  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

very interesting observation, evan -- thanks. you've inspired me to go ahead with a particular post i've just been thinking about.....

27 November, 2009 15:04  

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hi, and thanks so much for stopping by. i spend all too much time thinking my own thoughts about this stuff, so please tell me yours. i thrive on the exchange!

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