Style As Metaphor

16 Mar

One’s style can be considered a reflection of one’ s true self, an outward palette for creativity, or can be a mask to hide behind one’s true being. Style is transient in nature and often times can be dependent on the forecasts for beauty any given season. In Professor Ewen’s article: “Ends Justifies the Jeans” and in his book: ” All Consuming Images” he explains that style  is  politically charged and can be used to start social movements. For this post consider your own style. What does it say about you, if anything? What are its influences? Think about the way trends/fashions are or have been derivative of social movements. Provide an image  or images that might reflect your style (it doesn’t have to be you) and an image of a style that comes from a social movement. Please provide  a short (few sentences/paragraph) to go  along with your pictures.

***Be prepared to talk about this in lab.

This assignment is due Sunday March 18,at 8:00pm.


8 Responses to “Style As Metaphor”

  1. jakublewinski March 17, 2012 at 10:29 pm #

    I do not have very sophisticated style. I have never in my life drastically changed my style. My current style goes naturally with my personality but it is influenced by styles of particular social groups. Since I came to NYC first time in my life 7 years ago, I have lived in Williamsburg or our neighbor. Thus, in not a high degree, my wearing style is influenced by hipsters, but I do not consider myself as a hipster.Also, I have windsurfed and surf for most of my life. So, I am influenced a bit by the surfing style. In general, I do not copy any style. I try to have my own style, but I borrow some stuff from different styles.

  2. maya shor March 18, 2012 at 5:20 pm #

    Maya Shor
    Make Harper
    Section 009
    My personal style is nothing outrageous or original. I consider myself a fashionable dresser by keeping up with the latest trends. I only shop at stores that carry clothes that are in style like Forever 21, H & M. I also consider my style affordable and hip, so I do not break the bank to dress fashionably. The popular styles are constantly changing, maxi skirts in one day and out the next day. It is very hard to keep up with the latest fashion but I do my best to dress with a classy flair. My style says that I care what other people think about me and I care how I portray myself. Some people walk around in baggy clothes or out of date garb but I believe that you have to put your own twist on current fashions in order to be considered well dressed in today’s world. I would have to say that the media influences me significantly to dress in a certain way because I model my fashion choices on magazines and television programs. I wont lie, If I see a celebrity wearing a piece of clothing that I own, I would freak out. Fashion and social movements go hand in hand according to historical moments. During the feminist movement in the early twentieth century, the women began to wear shorter and tighter clothing in order to better prove their point. During the hippie period which was politically driven because these peace makers wanted nothing to do with the vietnam war wore peace signs and colorful clothing to portray their pacifist, fun loving personalities. An image that represents my style would be something like this:

    This typical jeans and t shirt style have been popular for years but is constantly being updated by different fits and colors and accessories. I love to dress fashionably but comfortably, and this outfit describes my simple but classy style perfectly.

    Social movements have always been driven by a change in fashion because fashion gets people’s attention. A famous moment in the feminist movement was when women gathered and burned their bras which was a fashion statement proving to men that women could not be constrained by the lingerie they wear. All these women took off their bras and paraded through the streets braless, which became a fashion statement for them. They used fashion in order to convey an important message that they would not be constrained by society’s gender restraints.

  3. Natalie Alibrandi March 18, 2012 at 7:29 pm #

    My style changes all the time. It generally depends on my mood and weather. In the summer I tend to wear a lot of free people and clothes that flow, its a very relaxed look for my care-free attitude in the summer. In the winter tons of black, not really until the spring do I start wearing more colors. One day I could wear skinny jeans and leather jacket, straighten my hair and it has a more edgy appearance. Next day I could look like a total prep. When I workout I could be one of those people that runs in central park and gets covered in mud from the back trails and walk around the city like its not a big deal. some of the looks from there are like my style.

  4. saarruhh March 18, 2012 at 9:27 pm #

    Sarah Moliski: I do not have a “set in stone” style. For me my taste in clothing depends on my mood, the season, or where I am going. I grew up in Montauk/East Hampton area which is known for its beachy town. Therefore I tend to dress pretty laid back-chill most of the time. Although I do love getting dressed up for a specific event, and wearing a great dress. My style usually consists of bright colors and interesting prints which match my personality. I have to say my favorite store to shop at would be Nastygal or free people. I prefer to wear shorts, tank tops and dresses rather than pants, coats and sweatshirts. I am influenced by color and texture, I love to wear colors that make a statement. Trends change all the time and social movements have a lot to do with that, I notice that trends tend to repeat and come back from previous decades.

  5. ValerieMotieram March 18, 2012 at 11:19 pm #

    My style pretty much stays the same all the time. The only change that happened was years ago when I was into the graphic tee and jeans style. Now I like to wear a cute/dressy top with skinny jeans and a cardigan. I like to wear flats with my outfits or knee-high boots. I usually shop at Charlotte Russe, H&M, and Forever 21. I would say that my overall style is pretty much casual.

    The Artistic Dress movement and its successor, Aesthetic Dress, were fashion trends in nineteenth century clothing that rejected the highly structured and heavily trimmed Paris fashion of the day in favour of beautiful materials and simplicity of design. In the 1860s, artistic dress became popular in intellectual circles and among artists for its natural beauty; it also reinforced their social ideals of quality materials, respect for the work of the hands, and the purity of medieval design.

  6. taracelis91 March 19, 2012 at 12:04 am #

    My style is a mix of casual meets comfort. I do like to keep up with certain fashion trends but i usually stick to what i like and what i feel works for me. I am not into wearing flashy clothing or high heels unless the occasion calls for it. i love to wear sweaters, scarves,hats, and boots during the winter time. similar to the picture in the link below.

    during the summer time is when i really like to experiment with clothes but also keep is casual. i love bright colors and accessories but my favorite thing to wear is just a simple pear of shorts, a nice top and some sandals. i think this keeps my simple style in mind but also gives it a little more of a girly look.

    What i think my style says about me is that i am a relaxed person who does like to look nice but hass no problem just throwing any outfit on. my style is not over the top but not so plain also. i think my style or any style for that matter comes from what is trendy in the current society mixed with what you like to wear, how you like to present yourself.

    i think todays style is about bright colors and mixing different patterns and colors to create a very unique look. it shows the boldness todays society has when it comes to fashion.

  7. danstuckey March 19, 2012 at 1:38 am #



    This one of best friends of all time, Lo’renzo Hill-White, a celebrated and influential fashion stylist, and while he dresses people in the most decadent of designer styles, and attends a lot of high society events where the level of expectation in terms of style exceed a typical weeknight out on the town in New York or San Francisco or Los Angeles, a major take away I’ve gotten from Lo is to pull the things that we already own out of our closets and to think of a new way to arrange them and put them on our bodies. I was basically a street rat doing modeling when I met Lo’renzo in Union Square San Francisco on a sunny day and I’ve been learning his insights of style through some form of osmosis ever since.
 However, he has rarely given me concrete or controlling opinions about my style, ok… — maybe some suggestions or eye-rolling turned me toward some better direction, but I had to learn to craft my own style, and while style is an extremely trivial matter to me, that has its meaning rooted close to NOTHING, it has been fun trying to impress Lo with what little I do have in my closet of clothing.

    I mostly tend to dislike graphic t-shirts, I used to play in bands, and like music/ artist related shirts, but I’ve always been turned off by ‘nerdy comment’ t-shirts. The Milton-Glaser I ❤ shirts are cool, and I collect them in various cities I travel to, but only if I feel I ❤ them. I tend to wear those more around the house. I'm also a big fan of that moment where I buy something and toss/replace/ditch the item that I'm wearing in the street because I can't stand it anymore.

    Recently, I've been trying to throw more things away than buy. It can be a second occupation for many New Yorkers to keep an exciting or interesting style, and I need to just be able to put something on, without thinking, so I stick to basics, hoodies, enjoy black, white, red and grey, and then I guess I'll some splurge on classic formal pieces when I get the chance. I also collect and love watches and timepieces, travel alarm clocks, wall clocks, as a real mode of telling time and I obsess over simple, minimal, beautiful watch and clock faces.

    I've worked in NYC politics quite a bit and been surrounded by media involved in local and national policy forever, issues and sentiments for which I have always been so indifferent and passively attentive, tending to assess and derive entertainment from the personalities of politicians like a nerd, and less of an activist, I feel this type of 'swiss' neutrality is conveyed through my minimal and less flashy/ 'graphic' oriented sense of whatever styles I access. I appreciate the ironic strive towards minimalism as accessed through materialization, it makes me think of a Buddhist investment banker or something, which I guess is quite paradoxical. But what it comes down to is an aesthetic reality of minimalism that helps me to engage with concepts of simplification and pure beauty beyond representation, which minimalism is available to escape so wonderfully. Something can be visual and functional, or stand alone as something of its figure or of its lines. I also have been caught up in a burst of making minimalistic art pieces, so my surroundings have begun to take some kind of shape from these large white, stretched, textured paintings I've been doing, and maybe I tend to reflect them? Someone else be the judge!





  8. Halima Haider March 22, 2012 at 6:07 am #

    Since the time I took it upon myself to dress my own body without parental influence, my style has evolved with each maturing feature. Prior to that I faced a rough time getting along socially due to my appearance with a boy short hair cut and Barbie sneakers, which inherently made me the laughing stock in fifth grade. What I now gather from the transition of my personal style is that I was indeed expressing myself in the hope of presenting a concrete image of my personality. After the horror of fifth grade was over, like most kids growing up around me, I abided by the fashion trends. In middle school, Limited Too was the place to shop. Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, the hip hop culture dominated my generation of kids and yes, I wore ghetto hoop earrings and listened to Eminem while my phenotype tricked everyone into believing I was a Latina. Que pasa?

    By the time high school years arrived, my life had taken many disparaging turns and I even moved to Lawrenceville, Georgia for a year. When I returned to Brooklyn, I was a preteen overdosing on emotions and transforming into a misanthrope. I started hanging out with a bunch of emo-boys who played hackysack and bitched about their feelings, and I felt like I belonged. I became heavily drawn to rock and roll. In the sake of fulfilling my needs as an attention seeking teenager with a developed physique and a nascent love for rock and roll, I began to wear neon colored fishnet tops or leggings in a proportionate exchange in accordance to the short skirt or ripped jeans I chose for the day. I wore a plethora of makeup to accentuate my features and disguise my insecurities, which made me look like an underaged go-go dancer. That ephemeral style was supplanted by my taste for designer attire when I started working two jobs by the age of fifteen making more money than the girls in my grade. I then acquired an expensive taste and adhered to the notion,“the weirder you’re going to behave, the more normal you should look. It works in reverse, too. When I see a kid with three or four rings in his nose, I know there is absolutely nothing extraordinary about that person.” Thanks P.J. O’Rourke. I needed to thicken my skin.

    I once again shed a layer of style to express my personal status at the time, along with which my necessity for excessive makeup shed too. I began to adopt a more vogue-esque style of fashion: sleek Versace zip-ups, georgette baby-doll tops, Free People dresses, Steve Madden shoes, accessories from Urban Outfitters, etc. Since then there hasn’t been any drastic changes in my style of fashion apart from minor adjustments. Ever since I realized that our society is a prime example of Marx’s theory of alienation, the future I want for myself became more appealing than pertaining to this consumer culture to claim a social status for myself. My style is very natural now. I am more interested in travels and investments rather than garments of clothes I look better without. I have misplaced numerous articles of clothing during my nomadic excursions but I’m sufficient with what I’ve got left. Nonetheless, I still believe that style is a form of self expression. I still adhere to a similar style as I did then but I shop often at thrift stores with the occasional splurges on designer things. However, with the intensity of my busy schedule, you will catch me with a messy bun, jeans, and a cardigan or hoody more often than something fancy. I don’t actually recall the last time I shopped for clothes. I am confident in myself for the most part and am able to identify with my flaws along with my stylistic and life transitions. Material possessions and stylistic inclinations no longer serve as a crutch for me but how I’ll approach this idea when I’m at the acme of my career is a whole new layer waiting to unfold. Cada loco con su tema.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: