This is about a pink dress I came up with the name of while writing this.
The process of imagining a piece of clothing is an emotional and creative rollercoaster ride where joy takes over, calls for its friends along and I have fun. Slash work. Pretty close to a definition for life, it seems, no? Here we go. I wore this pink dress to a punk themed fashion awards show and named it Candy Perfume Girl, after all. Pun not intended, yet very much celebrated.
The fabric was, instantly, literally, music to my eyes when I, inadvertently, saw it while looking for totally different kinds of fabrics. My mind was set on the project I’ve been looking the fabrics for, yet my …something started to drum for this pink thing I kinda knew from the start I was not going to leave the warehouse without. I asked the manager to keep it for me for a few days. I did, however, come back the same day and got it together with the fabrics I had been looking for in the first place.
You see, in music, we take something that we love and we build on it is something I heard Mark Ronson saying and thought Oh yeah!.
First, I thought of stealing it and transmuting it into in fashion, we take something that we love and we build on it. But then, I thought why not just let it be and smile whenever it pops up in my head?
Once alone in the car, the fabric and I, with no plans whatsoever, knew we were in for a ride. I say no plans, but you see, a collateral ride started the moment I saw the fabric and, on a high, I just let it slide. Let it be. By the time the car stopped, I had the dress in my mind. And I slide.
That same day, the invitation for the Style Awards 2019 had arrived. The dress code? Punk. a. Yay, a couple of friends are into punk, too, so it’s very likely that they’ll join. b. I’m going to take the pink dress I’d imagined into the world. We are riding, ooh wee!
Vivienne Westwood, the queen of punk, flashed before my eyes the instant I read punk.
That same night, before going to bed, I did some research and was excited – and yet another collateral ride had begun – to find out that the first shop Vivienne Westwood opened in London, in the ’70s, had the exact same pink – drumroll – I got – drumroll – all over the window that said SEX.
Punk is about rebels. Rooted in 1960s garage rock, punk rock bands rejected perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock. Punk emerged in the mid ’70s in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia. Music and fashion are so connected, it almost seems inconceivable to talk about one without mentioning the other and yet one more rollercoaster ride draws itself, beautifully, into the whole process of designing the pink dress.
I looked and looked and am looking at this photograph (by David Dagley of Steve Jones, Alan Jones, Chrissie Hynde, Jordan and Vivienne Westwood at Westwood’s shop Sex, Kings Road, London, 1976) all over again and am, still, in awe of it, of the genuineness of it and of them together, of each and every one of them, individualy. Of their mood, expression and style. They belong to punk, but they belong to themselves first. So punk, for me, is a celebration of personality rather than just forgetting about it and becoming something else instead. Keeping the outlines of the genre, both in music and fashion, was the challenge I, completely, hopped on. A new rollercoaster ride had started.
Because you’d think only punk is now here to funk, but check it out.
The dress was ready right on the day of the awards show, a day that started with The Verve’s Bittersweet Symphony. The thought of making the pink dress part of my third fashion collection sprung. A couple of trouser suits were already there to welcome her.
The first photo ever of the dress and the mess (I wonder how I did’t feel any super urge to put into place the instant friends told me they’re in the Uber downstairs).
The second one is of myself enjoying it no pressure in the 5 seconds or so ride in the elevator.
The third one is of myself bragging at mom about it via Facetime.
The night continued with myself lighting up fireworks (I was on a rollercoaster after all) whenever thinking of:
I inserted the Peter Pan collar I’ve always adored into a dress that connects to the previous Sex (or to the future sex, now that I think about it) and amplified it with the Marni collar.
The fishnet stockings (popular in the punk era) I wore, for the first time in my life, and got, immediately, hooked on.
The punk inspired boots I got on the spot. I’d noticed them while queuing at h&m. They happened to be on sale, right next to the counter and, without any precise reason at the time, I liked and got them.
I knew Debbie Harry was going to be my hairstyle inspiration from the moment I imagined the dress whilst in the standstill traffic. Blondie’s Maria had popped up on the radio, just a couple of days before, and had been on my mind for a couple of days in a row.
You see, there’s music sampling and there’s style sampling. You hear or see something that makes …something drum inside of you and you, instantly, want to inject yourself into the narrative, add elements of the nowadays, of your imagination and make it feel fresh, alive.
I referenced Aerosmith’s Pink on social media, but I, actually, felt more like Madonna’s Candy Perfume Girl, I now come to realise. I fell asleep with Aerosmith’s I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing on my mind, on the night I first wore it, though. What? Yup, welcome to my world.
I’m going to name the dress Candy Perfume Girl. The article, too. It’s a song from the Ray Of Light album. I loved and love Madonna’s album so much! I am now a part of it and am out into the world, riding.
Isn’t in music, we take something that we love and build on it one of the most romantic things you’ve heard lately?
Who needs a definition for life when we’ve got rollercoaster rides? We do have, however, a cute definition for imagination on Wikipedia:
Imagination is the ability to produce and simulate novel objects, peoples and ideas in the mind without any immediate input of the senses. It is also described as the forming of experiences in the mind, which can be re-creations of past experiences such as vivid memories with imagined changes, or they can be completely invented and possibly fantastic scenes. Imagination helps make knowledge applicable in solving problems and is fundamental to integrating experience and the learning process. A basic training for imagination is listening to storytelling (narrative), in which the exactness of the chosen words is the fundamental factor to “evoke worlds”.
Imagination is a cognitive process used in mental functioning and sometimes used in conjunction with psychological imagery. It is considered as such because it involves thinking about possibilities. The cognate term of mental imagery may be used in psychology for denoting the process of reviving in the mind recollections of objects formerly given in sense perception. Since this use of the term conflicts with that of ordinary language, some psychologists have preferred to describe this process as “imaging” or “imagery” or to speak of it as “reproductive” as opposed to “productive” or “constructive” imagination. Constructive imagination is further divided into active imagination driven by the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and spontaneous PFC-independent imagination such as REM-sleep dreaming, daydreaming, hallucinations, and spontaneous insight. The active types of imagination include integration of modifiers, and mental rotation. Imagined images, both novel and recalled, are seen with the “mind’s eye”.
Imagination, however, is not considered to be exclusively a cognitive activity because it is also linked to the body and place, particularly that it also involves setting up relationships with materials and people, precluding the sense that imagination is locked away in the head.
Imagination can also be expressed through stories such as fairy tales or fantasies. Children often use such narratives and pretend play in order to exercise their imaginations. When children develop fantasy they play at two levels: first, they use role playing to act out what they have developed with their imagination, and at the second level they play again with their make-believe situation by acting as if what they have developed is an actual reality.