Photo by Regine Panlilio
I remember the white silk chiffon layers embracing the skin of my legs as I twirled in my childhood room pretending I was 16 going on 17. The first time a piece of clothing caught my attention was my first Sound of Music experience with my mother in my grandmother’s room. It was that one scene with Leisl and Rolfe; my eyes glued to the dress as the actress immortalized the routine. I was about 8 or 9 then, and at the time it was the dancing, singing and acting that I was more inclined on doing and the dressing up was only an extra part of it. But it wasn’t long until fashion has become an extension of myself.
As a teenager, I have always found inspiring women to imitate their self-expressing ensemble. The interest has always been there. From the Givenchy’s classic little black dress Audrey Hepburn wore as she ate the bagel in front of Tiffany’s to the oddly shaped creations at the Comme de Garçon fashion shows. From the practical styling of those on the streets to the unbearable high stilettos worn on special occasions; I’m not afraid to like anything wearable. Even more so when I finally took the plunge into fashion designing in 2015. It was an eye-opening experience and everything I thought I knew about fashion were unlearned and I was introduced to a whole different world.
Studying fashion opened my eyes more to the world beyond the seams and fabrics. I always had a conversation with my thoughts on how fashion made everyone look good. However, with the countless readings and research, I was required to complete an essay, my mind opened to the idea that fashion could speak. Just as photographs speak a thousand words, as the saying usually goes, fashion
provides an insight into the thoughts, social life, and personality of a person. Of course, not easily and directly and a deep analysis goes into it… But what I came to understand is that fashion is more than just clothing one’s self. It’s a reflection of one’s personality and the things happening around them.
So why fashion, you might ask. Do people really need more people to tell them what to purchase because it’s the thing of the season? Do people really need more clothes? Actually, yes. People need more people not to tell them of what’s trending (other blogs can do that for you) but to show them how to ethically invest on clothes one can enjoy in a long run. Yes, people need high-quality clothing to express themselves, which saves more by doing so. And yes, people still need to understand what goes beyond the retail stores. Finally, fashion is a form of visualizing a message. Just as Leisl’s costume in the scene, it portrayed the innocence of a 16-year-old in her romantic, soft chiffon dress, while showing her entrance to adulthood in the dress’s form-fitting shape and the hint of lavender color.