cait +tiff

C / tornados and the 10%

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I have written about this before, and I will probably write about it again, but this morning I am thinking about being vulnerable. There have been some great pieces out in the past few months about vulnerability and honesty, and I am grateful for them. For me, it’s the bravest thing anyone can do. After spending the better part of 32 years grasping for acceptance, that desire seems to be slipping away and hearing from other bloggers about their real lives, opinions and struggles, makes the internet a much better place. It’s comforting to know that the people that I look up to are exceedingly human.

Writing, fashion or anything we put out in the world, is judged and we know that when we do it, which doesn’t mean it is any less intimidating. But people are talking about it a lot these days. Garance Dore wrote recently about the balance of sharing her personal life on her blog. Joanna Goddard discussed death in her family, and how she has dealt with it in her family, and in her public life. Bri Emery talked about issues with her father and why her ex is still her favorite friend. The one that got me most recently was by Kate Arends, who describes her experience living has a human tornado. I love these pieces, and if you click on them you won’t be disappointed.

Yesterday, my instructor was talking about making a collection. He said a successful, interesting, innovative collection will thrill and delight about 10% of the population, and 90% will hate it. Right. In my head the wheels start spinning wildly as I try to compute that making people happy does not equal success. The though of designing a collection for the first time, putting it out into the world and having 90% of the world HATE it, kind of makes me want to barf. I still have a people-pleasing element to my personality, and equating mass disapproval with achievement is a hard one for me to wrap my head around. Fashion is not a forgiving industry, and I am going to need to get good at putting it all out there. The only way I can work it out is that putting something truly new into the world NEEDS to piss people off. New ideas challenge traditional ways of thinking, social constructs and accepted truths, and with fashion, these challenges are often seen as silly, ridiculous, or just ugly.

I don’t get a lot of fashion out there, and thats fine. The Rick Owens collection a few months ago had little holes in the trousers where you could see penis, flopping down the runway. I didn’t really get it. But I also don’t get a lot of art, music or why anyone would need an Apple Watch. I’m not saying that dicks out is the way forward, I am opposed to a dicks out street culture, but it was a different take on masculinity, and fantastic lunch time conversation. My collections will not be surprise-genitalia-focused, but they might be weird, and I need to be ready for people to not get it, not like it, and maybe even hate it.



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