Sunday, May 22, 2011

In Praise Of, And Thanks For, Style.

This weekend, I've spent more time than I'd like to admit, looking at clothes, thinking about them, tracking them down, exclaiming to myself as I chance upon something particularly beautiful or striking. Over the years, I've come to recognize that clothing has the capacity to transform a person. Or perhaps transformations aren't effected so much by clothing, as by the evolution of a unique personal style - an individual aesthetic. People who have the ability to style themselves honestly and interestingly are wonderful communicators, mobile studies in art, design and self-expression. Style is one of those qualities that seems to transcend the usual barriers of wealth, race, gender and culture, but it invariably distinguishes. The stylish, always, everywhere, stand out.

To look at street-style, popularized by blogs such as The Sartorialist, is to see ordinary people looking radiant, pensive, mysterious, happy, preoccupied, distant - and always compelling. They seem like characters, figures one would more easily imagine populating a movie, a story, or even a music video. They remind us that people - 'ordinary' non-celebrities - are in fact, routinely intriguing, beautiful and elegant. Of course the skill of the spotter/photographer comes into play in noticing the right people and capturing them in the right light and at the right moment. But the fact that the street-style spotter's canvas is so large and varied is a tribute to human ingenuity and artistry. 

We read about sex scandals, wars, corruption and ineptitude on a daily basis. As our collective errors of judgment and moral and ethical lapses stack up, it often seems impossible for humanity to redeem itself. Which is why it delights me to think that everyday, stylish men and women are going about their day bringing a little bit of beauty to the world - and that other men and women are committed to documenting this effort.  You may think fashion and style are frivolous. But grace is in much too short supply for us to carp about the form in which we receive it. 

1 comment:

Neha said...

Thank you for the best thing I've read all day : )

 
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