The need to be in vogue, the unconscious anxiety of being in synch with what is believed to be fashionable reflect one’s needs for identification and acceptance, a generally unperceived will to find a place to live in peace. Fashion emerges from the cultural need of people to understand who they are and where they are heading. Clothes, accessories, cars, canned ideas, ways of acting and talking are desperate attempts to label the self, so that one believes the sweetness of the fruit is ascertained by the skin. To no avail.
One loses the beauty of inventing oneself, and the power of being unique. Fashion brings along the danger of projecting an ideal self we most certainly are not.
The limits of the border define the shape. Any ready-made model overcasts the originality of the individual, the beauty of a solo flight to unimaginable heights where they will find worlds and possibilities accessible only to those who dare going beyond normalcy and mundane permissions. The exercise of creativity develops the wings of freedom.
There is nothing wrong with the consumer industry, like clothing, cars or entertainment, that needs to produce and sell to generate the wealth and jobs that make our planet move. Beauty and comfort, when achieved and enjoyed in a dignified way, are welcome. In order to be happy, one does not have to be an ascetic, in the original sense of the word. However, one must understand the limits of everything and the sense of search of each one.
Fashion normally serves as a reference to place oneself in a given social group, whether through acceptance or in the spotlight. This is a somewhat naïve way to project who one would like to be, to find one’s place in the right gang, trying to impose oneself and find one’s spot in the world. In short, fashion tries to settle in the depths of the mind the mythological questions of who we are and where we are to go. But what is a mirror good for, if one does not want to see oneself? What is the use of a map and compass if one does not know where to go? Can the shape become more important than the essence?
Unconsciously, fashion deceives consciousness by selling what it cannot deliver.
Even though each individual hasn’t clearly grasped it, we move consistently towards the fulfillment of our being; only then we will achieve the peace we need, which, ultimately, is what matters. However, how to reach this haven is the question left hanging in the air.
Not having yet decoded the process, many still desperately seek signs of identification in fashion, so that they feel they are not lost, as if happiness were available in a store window or on a shelf, to be purchased with a credit card. It is easier and more comfortable to work the shape than the essence. The outcome, however, is quite different. Changing clothes will not heal the wounds of the heart; the shine of a jewel does not light the dark crevices of sadness; a nice and expensive car may arouse admiration of others and provide you with an enjoyable ride, but poorly resolved anxieties will follow you everywhere; access to modern technologies will not give you the answers to the deep questioning of the soul. To postpone diving into self-knowledge is like sitting in the station watching the train of fulfillment passing by. One must have the courage to see oneself and understand who one really is, is to face one’s pains and frustrations, take on responsibilities, lick the wounds to heal them. And, then, to transform oneself. The search is hard, but the encounter is magical. Extracting and experiencing what is the best in you, like a diamond that needs cutting until it reflects the perfect light, define the clothes you wear.
As we come to know ourselves, and transform shadows into light, we change the jacket of intelligence, the dress of the heart, the wardrobe of the soul. To know who we are is essential to understand the others and the world. If life offers you rags or prêt-à-porter, bear in mind we are our own tailors. It is up to each one of us to select the fabrics of love, sow with the threads of compassion, button up with wisdom, get dressed with the patience of eternity. Then, you just give out the handkerchiefs of joy wherever you go, to anyone, no distinctions made. Finding the shine in the path of everyone shows the light within you. The beauty of your new clothes will dazzle uncountable audiences, and everyone will want to be around, to walk down the runway with you, regardless of the color of the pants, the model of the car or the brand of the shoe. Elegance is not in the brand, it is in the style.
It is not what one wears, but one’s way of being.
Being a person is always in fashion.