Fashion matters because every day people get up in the morning and, with the palette of clothes they find in their closets and dressers, they attempt to create a visual poem about a part of themselves they wish to share with the world.
J.J. Lee. Measure of a Man. p. 53
I was raised by a mother who loved fashion and filled her basement with fabric, patterns and notions. She crafted beautiful garments, and rarely threw anything out. Which meant when we moved her from Kelowna here to Salmon Arm, we moved eight closets full of her clothes, and a hundred or so pairs of shoes. It also meant that Vogue magazine was a staple in our house, and that I grew up with a keen eye on clothes.
J. J. Lee wrote his biography of his father within the context of his time as an apprentice tailor. His father’s suit provided an exploration of the suit as symbol and metaphor in his own life, but also in the life of all men. Clothing makes the man, and he was trying to figure out the man the clothing made.
I love his expression of fashion as a visual poem. It’s very accurate. Our clothes give the message we wish to send to the world on any particular day. Whether it’s laid back casual with jeans and a Tshirt or cute and quirky with a hat, bright tunic and leggings, we say something about ourselves. But we don’t wear the same thing every day, just as we wouldn’t write the same poem every day.
Every day we adorn ourselves to be a visual poem.
I like that.