My Fashion History:
None of my family were ever that bothered about fashion. We didn’t have a lot of money, so clothes would fall bottom of the priorities list. In fact, the only person midly interested, was my grandmother. I remember, she had the most beautiful dressing table I’ve ever seen. It stood below the window, the white lace curtains draped around it. It was dark mahogony and had lots of little drawers hidden in it. I would sit on that stool whenever I went there, delve right in and see what I could find.
Grandmother’s taste was very 50s: red lipsticks, green/blue eyeshadows and blackest black mascaras in the makeup drawer. Metal necklaces,big stone rings and an assortment of retro scarfs in the accesory drawer. And in the bigger drawers, classic pieces: black pencil skirts, countless silky chiffon blouses, a mens-like tailored black blazer, and trousers. I would take everything out, try it on, and prance around the room.
On the back door of her bedroom, three or four coats were hung; a green, military-style trench coat, a navy blue bomber jacket, a long black buttoned coat, they were all beautiful. And even though the sleeves went way past my hands, and the length down to my shins (I was a short child), I’d feel like a 50s moviestar, in all her attire.
As the years went on, my grandmother passed away, and I couldn’t play 50s dress-up anymore. No, in the years that followed, my mo would dress me. It was in these years, that she taught me the art of colour coordination (as I would want to go out wearing pinks, greens, browns and blacks – she insisted, no).
Eventually, somewhere between the pink sandals and skorts my mom had me in, I wanted to develop my own style. I started flicking through my moms magazines from the 70s and 80s, and I discovered this thing called ‘grunge’. And one day (I was around 8 or 9), I asked my mom if I could become a ‘Rock Chick’. “As long as you don’t dye your hair black, sure!” Was her reply.
So, my first fashion venture was a ‘rock glamour’ look. My outfit consisted of skin-tight grey skinny jeans (I picked the sequin stars of off the pockets), a black vest top, four black studded bangles and, for makeup (as these were the days before liquid eyeliner), I wore a black lipstich from a Witches Face Paint set from Halloween.
I wore this outfit all the time. I think in a way, it was my way of rebelling against the lack of creativity we had. There was never really a way to express myself until I learnt to write, and to dress. And even today, the favourite peice of my wardrobe is the classic, skinny jean.
Mom still won’t let me dye my hair black though…