Q: Can you tell me something about yourself?
A: I’d be more interested in what you would have to say about me.
Q: You seem nice. Pretty, maybe. I like your shoes. (pause) All I have is a first impression.
A: First impressions are all we really have. Take the two of us, for example, I don’t really know you yet you are interviewing me. After this I will probably go get a coffee and then later on read your article on me, and then later I will bring out this glowing article, I assume glowing, and show it around for a while and then we will go on with our lives and will forget about each other and all of the little details.
Q: What do you mean by “details”?
A: You won’t remember my shoes or the way I swivel my mouth when I talk, or how I look about when I am nervous and answering your questions. Of course me saying all of these things about myself sounds a little vain.
Q: I’d say we are all a little vain.
A: Precisely. We are all a little vain and so don’t bother with other people all that often. The people whose details you remember are the ones who change you. And that change is important to note.
A: Because, as you said, we are indeed vain. Knowing what you remember about people, the good or the bad will help to make you a better person I think. What you don’t remember, well that’s irrelevant. What you do, that tells the deep stuff. And the details don’t have to be big things. They can be what you find ugly or even beautiful.
Q: Beautiful? Do you mean how someone looks?
A: Of course I do! No, no. Yes to some extent but no. Beauty is perceptive. But perceptibility is always influenced. Sort of a double entendre really. What you perceive is biased but biased because of other biases.
Q: Is there a certain bias you want me to take when writing about you?
Q: Why? Don’t you care?
A: I probably do care. But I am not going to say I do.
A: Because it proves my point.
A: It shows my vanity.
Q: Aren’t you a little cynical?
A: I’d hope not. I don’t think I like cynical people very much.
Q: Well you are. That’s going to be one of my biases. So please, could you actually tell me something about yourself?
A: Of course. I like getting to know people.
Q: Who doesn’t?
A: Well, you might be surprised. I don’t think people take it as that big of a priority. It might be my number one and hence why it may be the best way for me to tell you a little about myself. I am a deep believer in the common threads. I think we all think we are pretty different from one another. We go about our days suffering a sort of superiority complex, obliviously believing we are uniquely original. It’s inspiring to aspire to originality. It asks you to dream big and to strive to interpret the world differently and thereby see it more fully. However, it may also be kind of a fully naive way to go about things. And see, I am starting to become all preachy again. I’d hate for you to write about me this way. I wouldn’t want to seem too conceited and pretentious. God, I hope not. But well, if I were to go on about why I like meeting people I’d say it is because of how these sorts of conversations go. I just tend to start conversations with fashion.
Q: Fashion! You’ve finally touched on the purpose of my article. Is there a certain purpose you have when getting dressed? A reason to wear a certain piece on a particular day, or even try to stand out from everyone else? Is standing out the reason you like fashion?
Q: You’re outfits are cool, yes. But they never just look good. They are always trying to do something. Even verging on trying too hard. Why do you always try to dress a little out of the everyday? Why don’t you simply try to look nice?
A: Because I don’t think “nice” is all that interesting.
Q: What do you find interesting?
A: Playing with context. The more you can do something a little out there, or switch in something fancy on a Friday morning, well, it throws people off. Sometimes I have people come up to me and tell me they like what I’m wearing. But the reason is not because I look “nice,” it’s because I wanted to do something different.
Q: So you do try to stand out with what you wear?
A: Of course I do. I would hate to be seen as just an attention seeker because that is no way my intent. Getting attention from what I wear might be the best possible outcome but it is not why I wear something backwards or see-through, really tight or over-large. The reason is because fashion, unlike any other medium, can say what you are thinking without a need for words. Words are our means to common understanding. Written or spoken, words question and communicate. Clothes do the same. Whether intending to or not, how we dress is a comment on our world. Our choice of garment is an argument. Although this parallel between clothes and words may seem far-fetched or at least ambiguous, it is present. We say “don’t judge a book by its cover,” but we all know first impressions are the most powerful and how we dress is how people first see and so judge us. Of course, being judgmental or afraid of being judged is a poor way to approach fashion, but to decide to read someone by their clothes is a form of flattery. And composing a wardrobe is an attempt to cultivate self-knowledge, like trying to write your own story.
Q: Is writing about fashion on your blog, “Cecilia Roses,” a good way to engage with fashion?
A: I don’t think so.
Q: What would be the best way?
A: Probably sitting outside of Barney’s or Dover Street Market in New York City and seeing who goes in an out.
Q: Then why write about fashion? Why blog?
A: Writing about fashion is, although hard because many times people don’t read about something they can just see, a way of artistic understanding. There are concepts designers have when they create a collection. There are also ways culture, social media, and politics begin to influence fashion. And so, I’d hope writing about fashion draws some connections between things. Fashion is only best understood when talking about other things anyways.
Q: Fashion is largely talked about as a very superficial thing. How has that changed the way you look at fashion or even write about it?
A: That is exactly how we first started this conversation. I realized somewhere along the way that we are all vain and that vanity shouldn’t matter so much. At first, I always thought I needed to justify why I liked fashion, maybe to me or to someone else, and so I launched “Cecilia Roses.” A year later I realized that anyone who would bother to read just another obscure fashion blog online was interested in fashion and didn’t need me defending it. I think that the superficialness is the top layer. People who are in the, I hate saying this term, “fashion world,” they are artists. They are the ones who look for deeper meaning and strive to change culture. To talk about fashion as merely superficial or in terms of expense is a way, but possibly the worst way, to look at fashion.
Q: And what would be the best way? How would you like to leave our readers?
A: I’d say as art. The price of the Mona Lisa, priceless, or a Jeff Koons flower puppy, is not what makes them great art. It’s the way people have always interacted with those pieces, taking pictures and making Simpsons episodes about them. Thinking about anything as art can make it more interesting. Fashion is one of the most interactive arts, and I’d hope a way people can begin to interact with their surroundings and be open to the people around them.
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