Thursday, February 11, 2010
She's come undone...
I have often been told I am a true Aquarian. I don't think that's even a word, but that's why it perfectly describes me. I walk to the beat of a different drummer. I am independent. Solitude suits me just fine. My mom and dad have often said that they brought the wrong baby home from the hospital! I am the weird one, the rebellious one, even though I never did any of the stuff my brothers did. I think differently, I dress differently. My mom made my clothes, and I never could find fabrics or patterns that I liked. I had a vision of what I wanted, but no one could ever sew it. My mom was a true seamstress--no seams showed on the inside, prints matched at seams, lined, etc. Perhaps because I demanded perfection in everything I did (though I didn't realize it at the time), I wanted to wear what we now know as deconstruction style. I don't think that was a word back when I wanted it. For certain, my mother had no clue how to make it. My outfits were an odd combination of bohemian, punk, and goth before the last two were popular. Kind of a step up from the hippies of the sixties. Long chains, metal fastenings, lace, high-heeled boots, ripped and shredded, loose and layered. Rings on every finger and toe, bracelets up to my elbows and there wasn't a day when I didn't wear a scarf tied somewhere on my person. And I went to a prep school/college. Pink and green and La Costa. Hated it then, and still do. And yes, I was considered quite different. Duh. Did I care??
My tastes were refined as I got older to include asymmetrical and architectural looks. If I was lucky enough to find something like that, I still wore it in a way no one else would. People would stare at me and might say something about how "interesting" I looked! The Japanese and Belgians, among others, were designing the kind of clothing that I wanted, but I wouldn't discover it for years.
I did a similar thing in decorating. Long before it was popular, I was doing the shabby chic thing without the chic. My love of fibers and metals and layering translated into antique clothing and rusty stuff put together in unusual ways. I bought antiques that were broken or falling apart, and I used them just like I found them. Well, I did clean them up. I just didn't do any repairs. I went to flea markets up and down the east coast, shopped antique stores, did some dumpster diving, picked up "trash" off the side of the road and even picked pieces out of trash piles behind the antique stores in rural areas. I consider the found freebies some of my best treasures! I display the old clothing, usually in some state of decay, like art. Broken garden statue parts are scattered around my home, as are old mannequins and tabletop displays. I have been told by quite a number of people that my house looks like a museum. They usually make it sound like it's a good thing, but who knows? There was the one woman who asked me why I had severed limbs, heads, and torsos in my house. What could I say? She didn't get it, and I wasn't even going to try to explain.
Now, I mention all of this because I know that I am different in so many ways. Odd, unusual, weird, but for the most part I am very comfortable with myself. However, a friend told me a few years ago that she thought the reason I dressed and decorated with things that were flawed and falling apart was because I thought I was flawed and falling apart. What? I didn't know how to feel about that comment. Is it possible that I am outwardly manifesting my inner self with all my flaws and problems by the way I dress? Did I happily keep broken things broken because I was broken inside? Is it possible for a person to subconsciously do that? And would that same friend see every person with a mental disorder in the same way? Or was it just me?
I have to say that I've been disturbed by her words ever since. I'd like to think that my style is a completely separate issue from my mental and emotional state. Because if they are connected, then not only have I been this way all my life, then I am likely unable to change. And truthfully, while I do want to change on the inside, I don't want to change my style at all.
Maybe I should dress like a mental patient. Because it really is my style.
(Image from Dazed and Confused.)