The process of imagining a piece of clothing is an emotional and creative rollercoaster ride where joy takes over, calls for its friends along while 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, literally, was instant 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 have 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 without. I asked the manager of the store 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 actually had come looking for in the beginning.
You see, in music, we take something that we love and we build on it is something I heard Mark Ronson once saying and thought: oh yeah!.
Then thought of stealing and transforming it to in fashion, we take something that we love and we build on it. Now, however, I am going to just directly steal it, not alter it and – I bet! – smile whenever it pops up in my mind.
Once alone in the car, the fabric and I, with no plans whatsoever, we both knew we were in for a ride, hello! 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 Elle Style Awards 2019 arrived. The dress code? Punk. I first thought, yay a couple of friends I have are into punk so it is very likely that they come and second, I am going to take the pink dress I had imagined into the world. We were 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 🥁 I got 🥁 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 in the whole process of designing the pink dress.
I looked and looked and am looking at this photograph all over again and am still in awe of it, of the genuineness of it and of them together, of each and every one, particularly. 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 would think only punk is now here to funk, but check these out.
The dress was ready right on the day of the awards show and it started with The Verve’s Bittersweet Symphony. The thought of making the pink dress part of my third clothing collection sprung. A couple of trouser suits were already there to welcome her.
The first photo ever with the dress and the mess (I wonder how I did not feel the super urge to put into place the instant friends told me they’re in the Uber downstairs).
The second is myself enjoying it no pressure in the 5 seconds or so ride in the elevator.
The third is myself bragging at mom via WhatsApp.
The night continued with myself firing up fireworks (I was on a rollercoaster after all) whenever thinking of:
The Peter Pan (yes, this is the name of the collar) I have always adored, only with a twist, and inserted into a dress that connects to the previous Sex (or future, now that I think about it). A collar I amplified with the collar from a Marni collection at h&m from many years ago. The dress is going to come together (Come Togetheeer right nooow over meee) with a very cool collar of its own.
The fishnet stockings (popular in the punk era) I was wearing for the first time in my life and was immediately hooked on the feeling.
The punk inspired boots I totally random got from h&m. I saw them when in a short line at h&m. They happened to be on sale right next to the counter and without any precise reason at that time (4 or so years ago, I think more) – I liked and got them.
How I feel in the dress!
I knew Debbie Harry was going to be my hairstyle inspiration from the moment I imagined the dress while in the standstill traffic. Blondie’s Maria randomly popped on the radio just a couple of days before and was on my mind for a couple of days more. The rest of the hairdos were pretty high on my imaginary list, too, tho.
You see? There’s music sampling and there’s style sampling. You hear or see something that makes …something drum in you and you instantly want to inject yourself into the narrative, adding elements of the nowadays and your imagination to make it feel fresh, alive.
I posted the reference to Aerosmith’s Pink on social media, but I actually felt more like Madonna’s Candy Perfume Girl, I know come to realise. I, anyhow, fell asleep with Aerosmith’s I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing in my mind or something on the day that I first wore it.
I am going to name the dress Candy Perfume Girl. The article, too. It’s a song from the Ray Of Light album. I didn’t care then who liked it, I just loved it and now am part of it through the pink dress and out in 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, anyway?
We have, however, a cute definition of 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.