Compose Yourself, Dammit!
This whole week in 'The ONE' has been rife with people digging to the "good" section of their closets and dipping to their boutique of choice to freshen up the look for 'Omaha Fashion Week 2010', which culminates Saturday's full-blast finale. I'm not gon' front, I've been deeper in the closet than usual, and the position of my kick stacks have been upset more than usual as I go hard for that little extra—*ding*—shine on the gear choices for stepping out. Last night, sitting at Nomad Lounge—the house of the OFW2010 action—I slipped into people-watching mode and began to study the scene. There were the posers who were just wearing predictable, must-wear "costumes" that fit neither their personality nor bodies. there were a few of the delightfully disheveled downtrodden, who rick the most wrecked tees, shoes and denims they can find, and really move as if they are stylin' on you. And then… there where those that looked as comfortable in their get-right textiles as they would were it a night on the most fantastic, fashionable couch, eating sexy popcorn, watching television. How interesting. And that got me to thinking about why it's important as a "creative" pro to have a sense of style about myself.
Let me say right away, I am a fan of fashion and style. I participate at levels I can afford and feel authentic at. I've deemed my own personal style as "ghetto prep", due to the ever-shifting mix of enfluences I find myself awash in, while indelibly—and wonderfully—stained with the street style one tends to have at their core, being born into inner-city culture. But to whatever end, I do indeed participate.
I believe it's an important factor in calling yourself a creative professional, that your first canvas leave little doubt that you have a supreme command of composition. Taste is one thing, but styling is a bit different. Yes, compared to the ills of this world, fashion is a dstant 'also-ran', but that's a different conversation. We are visual communicators and like it or not, your personal composition is communicating. Taste can be debated and explained, but a lack of even the most minimal attempt at some semblance of styling has no excuse—at least for you, "Mr./Ms. Designer". Beat up shoes, dirt-bag denims, ill-fitting tops, even hair and grooming… there is NO artistic merit to lack-luster presentation, if you are a person who looks to make a living doing various sorts of visual presentation. And spare me the economic undertones; if you can buy a few drinks or javas, you can save back for some style polishing.
Likewise for my stuffy, zipped up and stale-branded corporate counterparts. Don't think you're off the hook. A dress-code sucks. But it is not a uniform. If you are in a corporate job, creatively push those rules to the brink of breaking, as you should want to be on display and standing apart from the drones. We are special for the ways we see the world and communicate such vision. Don't drop the ball now.
So, think that over a bit, but I gotta go pick out which shoes I'm wearing to the Fashion Week finale runway show… Platinum & black or red snakeskin? ;-)