So where to begin.
I know you all (whoever you may be) have vastly missed my experience and I am entirely at fault. You see, I really caught myself between the desire to write, the lack of time to do so, being sick for 3+ weeks and not really having that creative fuel, traveling for the last 3 weekends, and all while trying to stay afloat with the thought of leaving what I had found as a pretty lovely home. Now although my living conditions were subpar and the whole ant debacle turned into full-on nuclear war by the end (they may have come in direct contact with bug spray…and I may have hovered at the hole in the wall where I found their source of entry..), I truly loved Singapore. And in a much different way than I loved France when I studied there. It really is difficult to put into words and almost cheapens it in a way because the words amazing, wonderful, and phenomenal even just don't have the oomph I need. It was perfect.
|Coworkers and I on my last day!|
|Jocelyn (the other intern with me/great friend) at our farewell breakfast for dinner :)|
In the beginning I questioned if the internship I had acquired was precisely attuned to my skills. Mostly focusing on beauty, I thought I might be lost and have a little less than the experience I wanted. But what I found by the end of the summer of writing beauty articles, making how-to videos, logging products, and making beauty tip Facebook and Twitter updates, I discovered something fantastic. It might sound silly, trivial, or anticlimactic, but I learned how directly the fashion industry hinges on the beauty industry. Now you may have already realized this, but it really got me thinking. Some days I thought, I'm not sure I really care about the newest hand lotion, as long as I have something fabulous on my fingers (ya know, preferably an emerald - green is currently more than an obsession). But when you begin to observe fashion and dissect the art within the stylishness or the madness even, you begin to see that the creative doesn't end with the clothes or shoes or accessories, it extends onto a person's face, hair, health. Part of being fashionable is being confident that what you are wearing is a reflection of something beautiful to think about or to create awareness or change. It is not simply a dress. It is a piece that will reflect who you are without having to say. It can be a guise for some thing or person you might want to step into that day. We all need our wild moments without straying too far off from our true character. Halloween for example: why do we find it so thrilling to dress up as something fun or something we always admired or wanted to be? It's just nice, to put it as simply and truly as possible. But Halloween 365 days of the year is most certainly a different story..and a little scary. Pun intended. (But keep doing your thang, Lady Gaga)
I think many people follow trends and many people scorn others for doing so. "Be yourself!" they may say. I wholeheartedly condone this statement in every sense, but trends are not placed randomly and just to churn the $$$ out of a designer's eyes and into his/her pockets. They are more often than not, truly wonderful reflections of the time we are living in, including the place, the values, religion, music, art, and human needs. Our world is certainly not perfect and still has much controversy and not that it is all bad to "agree to disagree," but much of it is problematic. We need ways to express the beauty in the chaos. And that is exactly the solace I find in fashion. When I put on a good outfit…and I mean it's like one of those superb days where you feel like Coco Chanel herself just stitched you in one of her creations, I find myself in this instantly marvelous day. Anything that goes wrong, I just laugh at. I see that I am running late and I say oh well, no need to worry, they will understand I am not perfect. I see someone disgruntled and I smile at them. I see someone playing the harmonica in the train station underpass on the way home from work and their face is impassioned by the sounds they are creating and it makes me happy that they feel so much for something in their life.
I'm not saying we don't all need a sacred sweatpants day where we humble ourselves with the thought that we are not really a fashionista rockstar extraordinaire (haha!...or are we?) and that looks are not the only way we can feel confident or important. It's nice to not lather yourself in foundation somedays and not worry that your red lipstick is going to smear all over your face when you're attempting (note, attempting) to eat an ice cream cone. But I can't help but testify to feeling totally not guilty for my love for fashion. It is completely pure. I think there are way too many materialistic people in the world. There are some who dote on expensive things because they are expensive and designer labels stamped on everything they own so they can see their own importance each day and shout it to the world. But I am not one of them. I admire designers for their skill, taste, and vision. I do not always like what they have or think it is for me, but I can respect what they do. I believe the best way to respect it is to treat it as it is: a work of art designed to give you those feelings of a marvelous day as soon as you slip it on. Not to ensure that your Prada bag has the gold plate of its label facing forward at all times. Respect these things not for their price, status, or the level of envy those around you will have. Respect them for their power to inspire you. If I slip on a great dress and I am positive and radiate this positivity around me, how exactly is that bad or does that make me materialistic? I think it's my avenue of creativity and an outlet that makes me very, very happy. I don't do it for compliments or admiration - I think sometimes it intimidates people how I dress and they think I judge them for not expending as much energy into their look as I did. Quite the contrary. I very simply enjoying doing it for my Me. First impressions are important, something everyone has to face in life. And I would like to think my first impression says I am a confident person who is not afraid to be different or an individual or exactly who I am. I don't like to hide my weird. I like to display it as a strength and hope that a little of this attitude rubs off on everyone around me. Because normal should not even be in the dictionary. Normal is a figment of our imagination.
I believe…no I know, I have really come into myself as a person this summer. The idea of graduating from college, something that at the age of 9 seemed about as close as my retirement, I really never expected the day to come. And here I am, three months after and as sure and unsure of myself as ever. I can't tell you what the heck I want to do with my life, but I know that what I spoke of above is something I really care about. I have thoroughly enjoyed keeping this blog this summer (even though I fell behind) because I love writing and taking the time to search for the words to express how the fashion makes me feel. And how Singapore helped me find the words. Traveling and experiencing what others do, finding a home in their home, and reaching an understanding of their being, embracing differences as beauty and inspiration, is where you find your voice. Studying in France ignited it, Singapore kindled it, and I think Milan in the fall might just be fireworks....!
P.S. Stay tuned for the conclusion of my wardrobe in Singapore: I still have FOUR fabulous weeks to share with you all and THREE incredible trips around Asia to recount. I vow here and now to complete this before I'm off to Milano for grad school in T minus 2.5 weeks (the last commandment).