There’s a funny thing that happens working in the fashion industry, or at least it happened to me this way. You don’t really realize it for a while — but it certainly seeps in early on, and eventually, the lightbulb illuminates: I found myself constantly wanting.
Part of what I do is look for new designers everyday. I search their collections, their websites, their about pages, for authenticity and awareness — looking for a consciousness beyond one that current enraptures the state of the industry. But humorously enough, while I wasn’t paying attention, I left a grounded satisfaction that what I had was enough, and who I was was enough.
This tango has me thinking: If you stripped away your clothes — who would you be? What would you believe in? Would your beliefs shine or would you curl up in cowardliness? Would you want to work towards something greater? And what would that thing be?
It’s not an easy answer, or even question to look beyond the colorful or minimal or chic or shabby expression we wrap ourselves in. To stretch beyond the facade of our first architecture, our clothing, is uncomfortable. Stripped away, there is nothing left but our core. It’s no wonder streaking or skinning dipping in our adolescence years is so utterly exhilarating and liberating — it’s the raw you, exposed. Free.
But that freeness isn’t available to us everyday, day in and day out without work. It’s born from within.
You can’t buy self-acceptance in a store. It doesn’t come over the counter or with a prescription. Self-acceptance can’t be carried in a designer handbag, or painted on the sole of an expensive shoe. This is not an easy sell, in fact, this isn’t a commodity at all. It comes from patience, discovery and love. And this liberation in who we truly are is worth believing in and fighting for – because no matter what is underneath, it’s genuine. It’s worth breaking the cocoon to fly. Or as they say, the juice is worth the squeeze.
Self-love is a tough sell, so no one tries to sell it to you. Trends are sold, dare I say, to distract you from your own uniqueness and your own internal beauty, because for them, there is little profit in you embodying that.
From this root, I’ve become enraptured in the What’s Underneath Project, an on-going series of video interviews conducted by the mother-daughter team StyleLikeU.
I will let the project speak for itself, and my hope is that it’s raw power and genius brushes up against you, as it has me.
THE WHAT’S UNDERNEATH PROJECT
“We’ve asked a select group of individuals to participate in a project in which they will remove their clothes to honor how style is not the clothes you wear.
It is not about trends,
It is not about money,
It is not a facade,
It is not about wanting to be someone else.
It is comfort in your skin,
It is acceptance of yourself and others,
It is knowing who you are,
It is your spirit,
It is immaterial,
IT IS WHAT’S UNDERNEATH.”
For more videos from the What’s Underneath Project visit Stylelikeu