“Style is not about what you’re wearing. Style is a combination of many things: It’s the way you move, your taste in books, your taste in a house. It’s the things you do that are different when everybody else is doing the same thing.”
—Carolina Herrera, designer, Harper’s Bazaar, April 2015
Such a nice summing up of the complexity of style! What you decide to wear is indeed just one small part of the mosaic (or puzzle) of your self. And thinking of clothes alone, how fascinating to consider that what you decide to put on today is in some sense a reflection of what your mother decided to put on you when you were an infant in arms—indeed, a reflection of everything you’ve ever thought, read, done, said, written, heard, or seen, let alone worn. Your clothing choices are no more random than your choices of where to live, what work to do, or who to marry.
Which is not to say that you’re trapped, fated to express yourself through your clothes in only one inevitable way. The person-making process, which is perhaps synonymous with the style-making process, is far too rich and mysterious for that. I doubt that any two people ever have exactly the same response to any “shared” experience.
Besides, we change day by day. We can decide to take chances, to step away from what makes us comfortable, and that stepping away (even if we eventually step part way back) may change who we are. And it may also change what we wear.
Plus, we harbor subpersonalities, whose voices (and choices) may be more or less distinct, more or less alike, thus leading some of us to have more than one style, or at least more than one variation of our core style.
I, along with all of The Style Sisters, from the quiet to the raucous, will enjoy sitting with Herrera’s thought, turning it over in our minds as we ponder why we choose the clothes (books, jobs, friends) we do, why we inhabit one mind and body but don’t always agree, why we change our choices, and how our choices change us.
So which of your drummers (or drums) are you marching to today?
Known for the elegance, tastefulness, and femininity of her clothing, designer Carolina Herrera was born to a wealthy and aristocratic Venezuelan family. But she developed a richness and toughness of character thanks to strict parents and a mother who urged her four daughter to cultivate their inner lives. “Beauty, she told them, “is the first thing to go. If you don’t have anything inside you, you are going to be so lonely.” Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis favored Herrera’s clothes, and the designer created Caroline Kennedy’s wedding dress.
Categories: Fashion Quote of the Week