Friday, April 24, 2009

Where Did You Come From?

So last night I showed up at one of my weekly dance practice in an American Eagle striped blue long sleeve button down shirt and a tailor made black trousers/slack. Excuse my descriptive details but I feel it's needed since we're in a fashion class and have been discussing the idea of fashion and identity for the past few weeks. This is not, however, in any way how I "brand" myself. Nonetheless, here's the conversation that followed:

Team member: Damn, man, where did you come from?
Me: ... From work? ... Why? (something about my clothes?)
Team member: Nothing, you look all dressed up...
Me: (knew it)
Team member: ... spiked hair and sh1t.
Me: Oh yeah? I was a cashier.

I was puzzled, a little bit. To me it was nothing close to what I would call "dress up." If we relate back to the question asked at the beginning of the course, "How do you dress?" and the common answer of "Whatever fits me," then we'll see a contradiction. If it is true that we don't give much thoughts about what we wear, then why do we have certain "critique" or comments or assumption of what other people wear? To be clearer, to be able to put on clothes without giving any thoughts, it is required that we disassociate clothing (materialistic) from "identity branding" (conceptual). But the fact is, we are opinionated of what people wear (including ourselves). I have never given it much thoughts before but clothing, as the materialistic manifestation of fashion, speaks to one's personality, social status, occupation, self-confidence, etc. (Kawamura). And I realized people DO judge what one wears, and that I too am looked at by other people (duh!)

Do you not have any comments on Vic's dress?

Another note on the compact challenge, at first I thought it only applies to fashion (which comes down to clothes), but it seems like it challenges consumerism as a whole. Not so bad I suppose. Ever since going to college, I only shop (clothing) once or twice a year. Most other time, it was handed down to me by my older brother, the ones that are perfectly fine but he's just got bored wearing them (he shops every month or so, checking the stores regular for deals). Maybe I should talk to him about this, but I would no longer get 'free' clothes :O.

Anyhow, I think I'll be fine in the clothing department. On the other hand, I've been thinking of buying a new gaming/graphics design rig. My three-year-old laptop is doing quite well, except for the much outdated graphic card. Even when my excuse for buying a new rig is to do graphics stuff more efficiently, I can do just as well on my current laptop. And it all comes down to fighting that urge of buying because of "wants" and not "needs." But the good news is I've put off this plan for more than two quarters I'm doing fine in this department too.

Kawamura, Yuniya.
Fashion-ology. 2005
Image: from the site.

Blog #1

- Nghia Trinh

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